Mueller memo cites Flynn’s ‘substantial assistance’
WASHINGTON – Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a memo Tuesday evening detailing the level of cooperation by Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser.
The 13-page document goes through the allegations against Flynn, including his lies to the FBI about contacts with Russia during the presidential transition and all the work Flynn has done behind the scenes to help Mueller’s investigators in the year since accepting a plea agreement.
Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was coordination between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.
No prison time?
Mueller’s investigators recommended that Flynn receive no prison time and cited his “substantial assistance” in the year since he began cooperating with investigators.
Flynn, who called for the jailing of Democrat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Republican convention, took a plea deal last December after being accused of lying to the FBI.
Flynn admitted lying about conversations he’d had with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak on Trump’s behalf during the presidential transition and said members of the president’s inner circle were aware of, and in some cases directing, his efforts, according to the plea.
Flynn urged Kislyak not to respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to Russian election interference.
Flynn’s FBI interview occurred in January 2017, shortly after he took his post as national security adviser in the Trump White House. He was forced to resign in February 2017.
He admitted he lied to FBI agents about his work lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. He later registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent because of the work.
“Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set forth below, a sentence at the low end of the guideline range – including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration – is appropriate and warranted,” Mueller’s team said in the memo.
The request for no prison time is something of a rarity; Mueller’s team hasn’t made a similar request for anyone else charged in the investigation.
Others followed Flynn
Flynn was one of the earliest to take a deal with Mueller’s investigators, and they said it may have helped ease others into cooperating.
“The defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the SCO (special counsel’s office) and cooperate,” Mueller’s team wrote. The memo states that Flynn helped “on a range of issues, including interactions between individuals in the presidential transition team and Russia.”
He offered “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials,” Mueller’s team said in the document.
Many of the examples in the memo are blacked out because investigations are ongoing.
Mueller’s team wrote that Flynn’s cooperation was “particularly valuable,” given he was one of the few individuals with “longterm and firsthand” knowledge of events that the special counsel investigated.
“The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” Mueller’s team wrote. “Shortly after the SCO reached out to the defendant to seek his cooperation, the defendant accepted responsibility for his unlawful conduct and began cooperating with the government.”
Michael Flynn was briefly part of President Donald Trump’s administration.