Robert Mueller calls Michael Flynn cooperation ‘substantial,’ recommends no jail time.
President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser provided so much information to the special counsel’s Russia investigation that prosecutors say he shouldn’t do any prison time, according to a court filing that describes Michael Flynn’s cooperation as “substantial.”
The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn’s assistance in the Russia investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. But the filing’s lengthy redactions also underscore how much Mueller has yet to reveal.
It was filed Tuesday, two weeks ahead of Flynn’s sentencing and just over a year after he became one of five Trump associates to plead guilty in the Russia probe, in his case admitting to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Though prosecutors withheld specific details of Flynn’s cooperation because of ongoing investigations, their filing nonetheless illustrates the breadth of information Mueller has obtained from people close to Trump as the president increasingly vents his anger at the probe — and those who cooperate with it.
This week, Trump accused his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, of making up “stories” to get a reduced prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and also praised longtime confidante Roger Stone for saying he wouldn’t testify against Trump.
It’s unclear if Trump will now turn his fury on Flynn, whom Trump bonded with during the 2016 campaign.
Trump has repeatedly lamented how Flynn’s life has been destroyed by the special counsel’s probe. At one point, he tried to protect Flynn by asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into his alleged false statements, according to a memo Comey wrote after the February 2017 encounter.
That episode, which Trump has denied, is among those under scrutiny by Mueller as he probes whether the president attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommend between zero and six months in prison, and Mueller’s office said Flynn’s cooperation merits no prison time.
Prosecutors said Flynn’s early cooperation was “particularly valuable” because he was “one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into the events under investigation. They noted his cooperation likely inspired other crucial witnesses to cooperate.
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