Mueller recommends no jail time for Flynn, citing his 'substantial assistance'

Source: The Hill | December 4, 2018 | Morgan Chalfant

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday asked a federal court for no prison time for national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing his “substantial assistance” in the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

In a court filing late Tuesday, 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 Monday.

The sentencing memo filed by Mueller’s team of prosecutors on Tuesday came roughly a year after Flynn agreed to plead guilty and cooperate, which represented a bombshell development in the special counsel’s Russia investigation that brought him closer to the Trump White House.

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Flynn is widely viewed as a key witness for Mueller as he looks to probe whether there was collusion between the campaign and Moscow. Mueller is also examining whether Trump obstructed justice.

Court filings made in Flynn’s case last year showed that he communicated with senior members of the transition about his conversations with Kislyak regarding sanctions.

Mueller’s prosecutors repeatedly delayed Flynn’s sentencing for nearly 10 months, a signal they were not finished debriefing him, until mid-September when Mueller asked Judge Emmet D. Sullivan to move forward with Flynn’s sentencing proceedings.

The filing comes two weeks in advance of Flynn’s sentencing in federal court in D.C. The government was required to file its sentencing memo by Tuesday, and Flynn’s attorneys have until Dec. 11 to file their own.

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While his sentencing effectively marks the end of his cooperation, Flynn can still be called to testify at any upcoming trials and any testimony he has given to the grand jury can be used to indict would-be defendants in the future. 

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