Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommends no prison for former Trump official
President Trump’s former security advisor Michael Flynn will not face any prison time for his alleged crimes after he gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team “substantial assistance” in the Russia probe.
In a heavily redacted sentencing memo released on Tuesday night, Mueller’s office recommended no jail time for the ex-Army lieutenant because he assisted in several criminal probes.
Mueller’s team says Flynn helped on a “range of issues,” including “interactions between individuals in the Presidential Transition Team and Russia.”
The newly released document suggests that Mueller’s work in the Russia investigation is far from over.
No other cases connected to the Russia investigation have seen prosecutors ask for a free pass from prison.
President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani dismissed Mueller’s filing as a political move, saying there was nothing to suggest there was any collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russian agents.
The former Mayor of New York described the Mueller and his team as “overzealous media inspired prosecutors. They are sick puppies.”
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According to the Daily Mail, Trump’s former national security adviser and the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and has helped in several criminal investigations.
Two of the cases he helped with were separate to the Russia investigation, large parts of the document were redacted and the full extent of Flynn’s assistance was not revealed, suggesting that Mueller’s work is far from over.
Mueller’s office says Flynn gave them “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the (Trump) transition team and Russian government officials,” before they took office.
The prosecutors haven’t asked for no jail time in any of the other cases connected to the Russia investigation.
Mueller’s office did praise Flynn’s character, saying his “record of military and public service distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part the investigation.”
But they did include a caveat, which stated: “Senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards.”
“The defendant’s extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on behalf of a foreign government,” in continued.
It’s unclear if the president will now turn his fury on Flynn, who he grew close to during the 2016 campaign and has drawn Trump’s sympathy since he came under investigation.
Flynn often led the chants of “lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton during campaign rallies.
President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani dismissed Mueller’s filing on Fox News on Tuesday night and compared Flynn’s offenses to “spitting on the sidewalk.”
He said there was nothing in the memo that suggest anyone in the Trump team colluded with Russia.
In a separate statement to NBC News, he said: “If he had information to share with Mueller that hurt the president, you would know it by now.
“There’s a Yiddish word that fits. They don’t have bupkis.”
Giuliani insisted that “maybe this will convince all of America there was no collusion.”
God is good.
To those who have supported us throughout this process….
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will never forget you.
— Michael Flynn Jr⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2018
Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr, tweeted after the news of the sentencing memo broke saying: “God is good. To those who have supported us throughout this process…. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget you.”
Flynn was fired from the White House in February 2017 after the Trump administration said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States at the time.
The filing comes ahead of Flynn’s December 18 sentencing and more than a year after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about reaching out to Russian government officials on Trump’s behalf.
It is also the first of many moves Mueller is expected to make in the next few weeks
Flynn became the first high-ranking Trump associate to agree to cooperate with the special counsel’s prove when he pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017.
USA_v_FLYNN__dcdce-17-00232… by on Scribd
USA_v_FLYNN__dcdce-17-00232… by on Scribd
Mueller had to file his recommendation for sentence before a midnight deadline on Tuesday.
It will give a federal judge an idea of how helpful Flynn has been in the investigation.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommend between zero and six months in prison for Flynn, leaving open the possibility of probation.
The detailing of Flynn’s cooperation also comes as Trump has increasingly vented his anger at the probe – and at one of his former confidantes who cooperated with it.
This week, Trump lashed out at his former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, saying he is making up “stories” to get a reduced prison sentence after his latest guilty plea to lying to Congress detailed conversations he had with the then-Republican presidential candidate.
In the same morning, Trump praised longtime confidante Roger Stone for saying he would “never testify against Trump,” adding in his tweet: “Nice to know some people still have ‘guts!’”
According to memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, Trump tried to protect Flynn by asking Comey to let the investigation into his false statements go.
Trump has denied asking Comey to drop the investigation but that episode is among those under scrutiny by Mueller as he probes whether Trump attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation.
Flynn’s case has been a contrast to those of other Trump associates, who have criticized the Russia probe.
Most notably, Trump former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, aggressively fought the investigation and is now facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence after his cooperation agreement recently fell apart over allegations that he had lied to investigators.
Stone has also waged a public campaign against Mueller.
But Flynn has largely remained out of the public eye, appearing only a handful of times in media interviews or campaign events, and he has strictly avoided criticizing the Mueller probe despite widespread encouragement from his supporters to go on the offensive.
He has instead spent considerable time with his family and worked to position himself for a post-conviction career.
Flynn’s false statements stemmed from a Jan. 24, 2017, interview with the FBI about his interactions with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., as the Obama administration was levying sanctions on the Kremlin in response to election interference.
In court papers filed along with his plea deal, Flynn said that members of Trump’s inner circle, including the president’s son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner, were involved in, and at times directing, his actions in the weeks before Trump took office.
Flynn was forced to resign his post on Feb. 13, 2017, after news reports revealed that Obama administration officials had warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s false statements.
The White House has said that Flynn misled officials- including Vice President Mike Pence – about the content of his conversations.
Flynn also admitted to making false statements about unregistered foreign agent work he performed for the benefit of the Turkish government.
Flynn was under investigation by the Justice Department for the work when he became national security adviser.