Last Friday, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The lights just got dimmer for Trump, and now Manafort will avoid prison time by agreeing to provide testimony and more is likely to be revealed in the coming weeks.
On Monday, it was reported that Muller is now asking a federal judge in Washington D.C. to move forward with the sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, nearly 10 months after he pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his Russia contacts. According to NBC New York:
‘The move would bring Flynn’s involvement in the Russia investigation to a close nearly a year after he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team. It also comes just days after Mueller scored another key cooperator in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty last week after a long fight against the special counsel — including a trial in which he was convicted of eight financial crimes.’
Prosecutors had continually delayed Flynn’s sentence, but now say they do not need anymore time with regards to the investigation. Mueller’s team has asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to set a date in late November or early December.
In addition, they have asked the judge to allow them to file their sentencing memoranda no sooner than two weeks prior to the sentencing. By doing so, the specifics of Flynn’s cooperation would be kept from the public until after the 2018 midterm elections. NBC reported:
‘The joint filing by prosecutor Brandon Van Grack and Flynn attorney Robert Kelner asks that Sullivan set sentencing for Nov. 28 or sometime in the following seven business days. Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment on the schedule laid out in the filing. Kelner also declined comment.’
Flynn has been seen as a key cooperator in Mueller’s Russia investigation. As part of the investigation, Flynn lied about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition and about his Turkish lobbying work.
According to NBC:
‘According to his plea, Flynn admitted to making contact with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., on Trump’s behalf during the presidential transition and said members of the president’s inner circle were well aware of, and at times directing, his efforts.’
Just days after Trump’s inauguration, Flynn was interviewed by the FBI and forced to resign in February 2017 after the White House said he misled senior officials about the content of his conversations with Kislyak. This included Vice President Mike Pence.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Flynn will make the second campaign adviser to be sentenced. Earlier in September, Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days incarceration for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the campaign.
NBC also reported:
‘During his sentencing, prosecutors pushed for Papadopoulos to spend at least some time behind bars, saying he had only begrudgingly helped investigators even after his arrest.’
Flynn likely faces a sentence of between zero and six months in prison, which is less than the maximum sentence of five years he might ordinarily receive without a plea deal. According to the sentencing guidelines, lying to the FBI also comes with a fine of up to $250,000 but Flynn will likely receive much less.
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