Published: Mon, December 17, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

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

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

The back-and-forth between prosecutors and defense lawyers has created an unusual rupture in an otherwise harmonious relationship as prosecutors had praised Flynn as a model cooperator and recommended that he receive no prison time at his sentencing.

Flynn's calls to Kislyak, during which he made assurances about the incoming administration, were part of a broader effort by senior Trump officials to create foreign policy before they were in power, and they alarmed FBI investigators who were already scrutinizing Flynn as part of the Russian Federation inquiry. "They convinced him he did lie, and he made some kind of a deal", Trump said in the television interview.

"The seriousness of the defendant's offense can not be called into question, and the Court should reject his attempt to minimize it".

In total, Flynn met 19 times with the special counsel's office and others, for nearly 63 hours, they said.

However, many of Flynn's supporters have questioned the legitimacy of the case against him. But one Republican lawyer surmised that the judge - who replaced another judge shortly after Flynn pleaded guilty a year ago - was concerned by allegations made by Flynn's defense lawyer that the Federal Bureau of Investigation misled Flynn about what he thought was an informal meeting with the agents at the White House.

It is true that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has asked for documents related to quotations included in a sentencing memo from Flynn's defence team.

What happened to Gen. Flynn is a textbook example of our country's two-tiered system of justice - one for Trump and Republicans and one for the Clintons and Democrats.

Mueller said Flynn, as a "sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces" knows better than to lie to federal agents and "does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents". Not having an attorney present does not, Mueller argued, absolve him of his responsibility to be truthful. The 302 report also confirms that Strzok and Pientka "both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying".

During the interview, Flynn denied asking Kislyak that Russian Federation refrain from reacting harshly to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration over Russia's campaign of disruption and said he did not remember Kisklyak saying that Moscow had backed off as a result of Flynn's request. His sentencing has the makings of a bookend moment for the investigation given that Flynn - a visible presence on the campaign trail, in high-level transition talks and in the chaotic early days of the administration - was an early, and pivotal, part of the case who appeared to enjoy the president's sympathy even after his departure from the White House.

For two weeks following the Post column, "the defendant repeated the same false statements to multiple members of the presidential transition team", the prosecutors wrote.

Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse for a status hearing July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Now in Flynn's memo, a broader (but still limited) picture has been painted. McCabe wrote that he told Flynn that if he wanted to involve anyone else in the conversation - like the White House Counsel's Office -- McCabe would have to involve the Justice Department. If Flynn would not confirm what he had said, the agents had agreed not to confront him. Details of those interviews have not been revealed. And the only notes directly related to the January 2017 interview with Flynn was a summary written by McCabe, who seemed to have convinced Flynn the objective of the meeting was to discuss leaks to the media about his calls with Ambassador Kislyak.

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