Ex-Trump aide Flynn does not deserve jail, lawyers say

Saturday, 15 Dec, 2018

Flynn later said he had lied.

Flynn will become the first White House official punished in the Special Counsel's ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

In the meantime, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is voicing his support of the court ordering a review of Michael Flynn's dealings with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The special counsel's office filed a sentencing memo for Flynn last week, recommending that he receive zero to six months of incarceration due to his "substantial assistance" in the investigation.

"Even when circumstances later came to light that prompted extensive public debate about the investigation of General Flynn, including revelations that certain FBI officials involved in the January 24 interview of General Flynn were themselves being investigated for misconduct, General Flynn did not back away from accepting responsibility for his actions", they wrote.

Mr. Trump has been critical of the special counsel's investigation into Flynn, saying on Twitter on Thursday that the special counsel's office "gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated".

Central to the investigation are Flynn's December 2016 phone discussions of Obama administration sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, conversations that triggered intelligence community alarms and led to his ouster from the administration after officials said he had lied to them about the communications. Agents not only advised Papadopoulos that lying to them "is a federal offense", but also reinterviewed him later, giving him a chance to correct the record.

Cohen, who once vowed he would "take a bullet" for his boss, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to two women that he says was done at the direction of Trump.

The documents - some of which are heavily redacted - were released in response to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordering prosecutors to hand over the government's files and "memoranda" related to the FBI's questioning of Flynn by Friday afternoon. According to the special counsel, Manafort's defense attorneys were secretly providing details of the cooperation to the president's legal team.

"The stuff you're talking about is peanut stuff", he said.

The meeting with Flynn in the White House was set up by then-FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe, who served as the agency's acting director after James Comey was sacked by Trump as FBI director in May 2017.

Flynn is set to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Cohen's sentencing underscores the scope and breadth Mueller's probe has taken as it's investigated the ties between Russian Federation and Trump's team, an examination that often has consumed the President for the first half of his term.