Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing was delayed on Tuesday after Flynn’s attorneys got the signal from Judge Emmet Sullivan that their client may be facing jail time and took the judge’s suggestion that sentencing be delayed.
At the opening of the hearing, Sullivan asked if former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s activity “rises to the level of treasonous activity” and gave Flynn one more chance to back out of his plea agreement. Flynn declined.
Flynn pleaded guilty in January 2017 of lying to the FBI about his conversations regarding U.S. sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
“The aggravating circumstances are serious. Not only did you lie to the FBI, you lied to senior officials in the incoming administration,” said Sullivan to Flynn.
Added Sullivan: “All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out….I am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense.”
Following a brief recess, Sullivan walked back discussion of treason: “I’m not suggesting” Flynn committed treason. I was just trying to determine the benefit and the generosity of the government. Don’t read too much into the questions I ask.”
Flynn’s attorneys then took the judge up on an offer to delay his sentencing: “We are prepared to take your honor up on his suggestion of delaying sentencing.”
Flynn’s sentencing has now been postponed as Sullivan mulls additional details of the extent of his cooperation with the government.
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.”