He had to know what faced him in the courtroom. Former National Security Advisor to Donald Trump, Michael Flynn certainly did not act like a man who had been pardoned by the president of these United State. Instead, he appeared as if he was girding himself for what he knew faced him inside. He walked into Courtroom 24, the US District Court in Washington DC Tuesday with grim determination.
He lucked out. Flynn would not serve a day in jail for lying to FBI investigators and hiding his work with the Turkish government. The president’s man accepted Tump’s pardon in exchange for admitting all of his past crimes, accepted the guilty pleas, and would cooperating fully with the government in any future related cases. That meant, he was supposed to hand over any dirt on any person within his realm. Did the Donald even consider this?
Enter the intrepid Judge Emmet Sullivan. The judge started off talking about Flynn’s secret work for the Turkish government:
‘Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for.’
The depth of the “betrayals at the heart of special counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation” were dismaying. Thus far, the investigation has netted a string of individuals ranging from Trump’s “adviser George Papadopoulos to Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.” Apparently, these have only been the second-string players.
Conversely, Flynn’s job was “keeping the country’s most classified secrets and protecting its security.” Judge. Sullivan said:
‘I am going to be frank with you, this crime is very serious. I can’t hide my disgust, my disdain, at this criminal offence (British spelling).’
Sullivan was filled with suppressed anger. He said:
‘Never in his decades on the bench have I accepted a guilty plea from a defendant who was not really guilty.’
Before swearing in Flynn, Judge Sullivan said:
‘I don’t intend to start today. Any false answers will get you in more trouble.’
The former three-star general stood on the stage with Trump during most of the president-in-waiting’s campaign. He led ice-cold chants of “Lock her up!” Locker her up!” which referred to Trump’s presidential opponent Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Mueller’s prosecutors argued that Flynn’s decades of military services should warrant a lenient sentence “even after he had admitted lying to the FBI.” The judge was not buying it.
Judge Sullivan gestured at the flag beside him. Then, he accused Flynn of treason for profit. He also mused whether the nation’s attorneys thought about charging Flynn, the NSA advisor with treason. The attorney did not respond at the time, but later responded with a simple “no.” The judge continued:
‘”I didn’t say “wink, wink, nod, nod.” I’m not promising anything.’
‘Sullivan told Flynn he ought to consider a delay in his sentencing because there were no guarantees, the judge said, that he would not be incarcerated. After a brief recess, Flynn, looking subdued and a little stunned, returned with his answer: he would take the delay and thereby possibly avoid a harsher sentence.’
Back on Earth I, Mueller’s prosecutors had argued Flynn’s decades of military service warranted a lenient sentence for the three-star general even after the corona virus was free-floating across the nation.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.