Special Counsel: No prison time for former Trump adviser

Special Counsel asks federal court to spare Michael Flynn from prison time, citing his “substantial assistance” in Russia investigation.

Ben Ariel ,

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday asked a federal court to spare President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn from prison time, citing his “substantial assistance” in the Russia investigation and other ongoing probes, The Hill reports.

In a court filing, Mueller said it would be “appropriate” for the judge to impose a sentence for Flynn that does not include prison time. Federal sentencing guidelines called for Flynn to be sentenced to between zero and six months in prison and face up to a $9,500 fine.

“The offense level and guideline range, however, do not account for a downward departure pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines reflecting the defendants substantial assistance to the government, which the government has moved for contemporaneously,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote in a filing on Tuesday, referring to a motion that a prosecutor files in a case where a cooperating defendant rises to the level of “substantial assistance.”

The sentencing memo filed by Mueller’s team of prosecutors comes a year after Flynn agreed to plead guilty and cooperate.

Flynn, who admitted lying to FBI agents, was the first official to hold a formal office in the Trump administration to be brought down by the Mueller probe, which is examining potential ties between the campaign and Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation in February of 2017, after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the US

There was broad speculation ahead of Tuesday’s filing that Mueller might reveal significant information about the extent of Flynn’s cooperation in the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in its election interference effort.

The memo and attached addendum describing Flynn’s cooperation, which total 13 pages, are heavily redacted in areas, to protect the subject of ongoing investigations, noted The Hill. Mueller’s team also noted that Flynn’s full assistance may not yet be “fully realized” because “the investigations in which he has provided assistance are ongoing.”

Flynn has been widely viewed from the start as a key witness for Mueller as the special counsel looks to probe whether there was collusion between the campaign and Moscow.

Flynn had previously offered to testify before the Senate and House intelligence committees — which are both investigating Russian interference in the election — in exchange for immunity, but neither committee had accepted the offer.