Citing “Substantial Assistance” in Russia Probe, Mueller Recommends No Jail Time for Flynn

Citing “Substantial Assistance” in Russia Probe, Mueller Recommends No Jail Time for Flynn December 5, 2018

So according to special counsel Robert Mueller, the type and amount of help his team has received from former national security adviser, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, is such that his sentence should be little to no jail time.

That was the overall gist of the sentencing paperwork that was submitted to the courts. The exact wording listed his “substantial assistance.”

The question now becomes, “What makes up substantial assistance?”

That’s where things get a bit trickier. Large portions of the court filing, or what was released to the public, were heavily redacted.

So what parts did we see?

In a court filing released late Tuesday, Mueller said it would be “appropriate” for the judge to impose a sentence for Flynn that does not include prison time. Federal sentencing guidelines called for Flynn to be sentenced to between zero and six months in prison and face up to a $9,500 fine.

“The offense level and guideline range, however, do not account for a downward departure pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines reflecting the defendants substantial assistance to the government, which the government has moved for contemporaneously,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote in a filing on Tuesday, referring to a motion that a prosecutor files in a case where a cooperating defendant rises to the level of “substantial assistance.”

This particular filing has been a year in coming. It was announced on December 1, 2017 that Flynn had agreed to plead guilty to a single count of lying to FBI agents and the Justice Department, as well as to cooperate with special counsel in the ongoing probe into Russian activities in the 2016 election.

Flynn worked as part of Donald Trump’s campaign team, then later with the transition team, before being named as the new president’s national security adviser, against the recommendations of members of the Justice Department, who were aware of some of Flynn’s connections with foreign governments.

His role with the new administration lasted about three weeks, before the full weight of his foreign lobbying and own connections to Russia brought him down.

Flynn in November 2016 wrote an op-ed for The Hill in which he defended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid growing concerns over Erdogan’s crackdown on dissidents.

Flynn went on to serve a brief stint as national security adviser but was forced to resign on Feb. 13, 2017, following revelations that he discussed sanctions with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and that the Justice Department had warned the White House that he was vulnerable to blackmail by Russia.

Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he provided Vice President Pence with “incomplete information” regarding his phone calls with Kislyak, which had led Pence to go on national television and deny that the two discussed sanctions on Russia in conversations during the presidential transition.

Pence took that particular “half-truth” to the public. Basically, Flynn made him look like a dope (it wouldn’t be the last time).

Because Flynn had misled the vice president, Trump begrudgingly let him go, and brought in H.R. McMaster to take his place.

At this point, we have no idea how valuable or possibly even bland the information shared with Mueller’s team may have been. What we do know is that Robert Mueller has repeatedly, over the past year, sought delays in turning in the court filing for sentencing regarding Michael Flynn. Each time, the reason given was because they were not finished with him.

He was spilling, big time.

Mueller’s prosecutors described Flynn in the filing as a valuable cooperator in the Russia investigation as well as an unknown criminal investigation and a third matter, the subject and details of which are completely redacted. Flynn sat for 19 interviews with the special counsel’s office and other Justice Department prosecutors over the course of nearly a year, in addition to providing documents and communications, according to the filing.

Prosecutors wrote that Flynn helped on a “range of issues” related to the Russia probe, including providing “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the [Trump] transition team and Russian government officials.”

Flynn’s sentencing is set for December 18. This filing marks the completion of his cooperation agreement.

He can still be called to testify, and his testimony may open up new avenues of implication against other defendants, but he has done his duty.

Meanwhile, Mueller is set to make what some are speculating could be “significant filings” against former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, and Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, later this week.

That should be interesting, given what we already know about Cohen’s extensive cooperation, as well as Manafort’s attempts to mislead Mueller’s team, after signing a cooperation agreement.



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  • IllinoisPatriot

    Though I get tired of only getting pieces of the story, my confidence in Mueller is growing that he won’t stop until he’s at the bottom of the Trump administration corruption.

    I have increasing confidence that if Mueller releases any kind of report before the end of the year, it will be only an interim report and not his final report. I can already see a wealth of leads that have opened up for him just in the last few days and weeks. (For example that tax lawyer for Trump whose office was recently raided [and shuttered] by the feds in Chicago for which there appears to be no admitted explanation).

    Is it just me or does anyone else see a pattern that the more Mueller digs into Trump’s activities, the more proof of previously unprosecuted corruption and conspiracies emerge ?

    Is there any way to shut off the spigot of corruption, perversion, and just plain evil that seems to be spewing out of NYC glamorized via TV news, connections to big banks and to wall street and via exported political ideologies ? Is there some source we can shut off ? NYC, Sacramento, CA, Hollywood and San Francisco seem to be the four largest festering spiritual wounds in the USA today from which life-destroying ideologies and immorality seep into and sicken the rest of our culture.