Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will be sentenced on Tuesday for lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia. He pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2017.
Reuters reports: ‘Lying to the FBI carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Flynn’s plea agreement states that he is eligible for a sentence of between zero and six months, however, and can ask the court not to impose a fine. Flynn’s lawyers have asked the court for a probation term of no more than one year, with minimal conditions of supervision, and 200 hours of community service. Flynn also deserves leniency because he was not warned before the meeting with FBI agents that it was a crime to lie to them, his lawyers said in a recent court filing.’
RELATED: Robert Mueller Recommends No Jail Time for Michael Flynn in Heavily-Redacted Memo That Should Worry Trump
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for the former National Security Adviser in early December because of “the defendant’s substantial assistance” he had offered to the Russia investigation. Flynn met 19 times with the Special Counsel’s team, according to the memo, which read, in part: “The defendant provided firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials.”
A heavily-redacted FBI memo released late on Monday revealed the extent to which Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.
The NYT reports: “…in his interview with the F.B.I., Mr. Flynn claimed that he did not remember ever asking Mr. Kislyak that Russia restrain its response, the agents wrote in the document, known as a 302. He told them that he did not even know about the Obama administration’s decision to expel dozens of Russian diplomats and to seize two Russian-owned properties in the United States because at the time the sanctions were imposed, he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, without access to television or to his government-issued BlackBerry phone. Mr. Flynn also has acknowledged lying to the agents about his conversations with Mr. Kislyak involving Russia’s impending vote in the United Nations on an Egyptian-sponsored resolution to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank. He has admitted that he asked that Russia either delay or oppose the resolution.”
Meanwhile, Trump tweeted this morning:
Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
On a related note, Rachel Maddow last night reported on how Flynn accepted a huge sum of money to change his position on a coup attempt against the Turkish government in 2016.
“The Flynn Group charged $600,000 for the about-face,” Raw Story reports. “Maddow noted on how Flynn wanted to return Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania, to the country.”
Said Maddow: “For the low, low price of $600,000, he will not only stop telling Americans that they should applaud that coup, he will help the government that was the target of that coup hunt down the guy they’re blaming it on.”
Added Maddow: “National security matters affect all of us and you can’t get anywhere near the lurid story of Mike Flynn and his lies to investigators and his schemes and his foreign entanglements that he was covering up while he was involved in these sensitive matters, all the ways he was caught, all the warnings and the red flags flying around, you can’t get anywhere near this lurid saga of Mike Flynn as a national security and counterintelligence disaster at the highest levels of this administration without at least wondering why the Trump administration did not care about any of this….Flynn as national security adviser — given what we now know what was going on with Flynn and what we now know the law enforcement community and the intelligence agencies knew what was going on with Flynn and what they warned the incoming Trump folks about Flynn — Flynn as national security adviser is something that just seems impossible in retrospect.”