Dear Commons Community,
Special Counsel Robert Mueller praised Michael Flynn for his cooperation in the Russian investigation and recommended he served very little jail time in a memorandum to the presiding judge. The news media have been patiently awaiting for this memorandum all day and although heavily redacted it provides interesting insights into the Mueller investigation. Here is an initial report from the New York Times.
“Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, helped substantially with the special counsel’s investigation and should receive little to no prison time for lying to federal investigators, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.
Prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, described Mr. Flynn as a key cooperator who helped the Justice Department with several investigations, sitting for 19 interviews with Mr. Mueller’s office and other prosecutors and handing over documents and communications.
“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into the subject of Mr. Mueller’s investigation — Russia’s election interference and whether any Trump associates conspired, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing recommendation memorandum and an addendum that was heavily blacked out.
In particular, they wrote, he may have prompted others to cooperate with the inquiry. “The defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming,” prosecutors said.
They also indicated that Mr. Flynn helped with other investigations without revealing details about them.
Mr. Flynn, who served briefly as the president’s national security adviser, is the only White House aide and the first person from the president’s inner circle to strike a cooperation deal with the special counsel’s office in exchange for a more lenient penalty. He pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak.
“The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” prosecutors wrote.”
For the next several days, this memorandum and its addendum will be analyzed and reviewed extensively by the media.