Michael Flynn, the president’s onetime national security adviser, is asking a federal judge to spare him a prison sentence after cooperating for more than a year with prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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Flynn, whose sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, pleaded guilty last year to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia’s U.S. ambassador during the presidential transition period from election day in 2016 until President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“Following extraordinary public service in the United States Army, during which his innovations as a highly decorated intelligence officer saved countless American lives, and a lifetime of faithful devotion to his family and fellow service members and veterans, as described in the powerful letters of support that accompany this submission, a sentence of non-incarceration is both appropriate and warranted,” attorneys for Flynn wrote in a sentencing memo filed late Tuesday.
Flynn’s attorneys argued for the judge “to sentence him to a term of probation not to exceed one year, with minimal conditions of supervision, along with 200 hours of community service.”
As part of his plea agreement, Flynn agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. But until last week, when the government filed its sentencing memo for Flynn, details of his cooperation largely remained secret.
In their memo, special counsel prosecutors commended Flynn’s “substantial assistance” over the course of “19 interviews with the [special counsel’s office] or attorneys from other Department of Justice offices,” the content of which notably included “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials.”
Federal guidelines call a penalty of up to six months in prison for Flynn’s crime, but Mueller argued that “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.”
Friends and relatives have said Flynn, who at 2016 campaign rallies led chants of “Lock her up!” about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is eager to face the judge and accept his fate following his dramatic guilty plea almost exactly one year ago.