Special counsel Bob Mueller’s team said in a court filing that former national security adviser Michael Flynn extensively cooperated with multiple investigations and recommended no prison time in his case.
In two highly redacted memos filed ahead of Flynn’s sentencing, which is scheduled for December 18, Mueller’s team said that Flynn was interviewed 19 separate times by the special counsel or other DOJ officials.
“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the [special counsel’s office],” the special counsel’s office wrote. “Additionally, the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the SCO and cooperate.”
Flynn pleaded guilty last December to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian officials. Flynn admitted in his plea that he was directed by Trump transition team officials to speak with the Russians.
Trump lawyer downplays:
“Wow big crime for a SPECIAL WHATEVER,” Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani wrote in a text message to Politico after the memos were filed. “maybe a group of Angry Bitter Hillary Supporters who are justifying themselves by the goal justifies the means....”
North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows told Fox News Sean Hannity that it was “good news for President Trump.”
"Let’s look at what is not in there. There is no suggestion that Michael Flynn had anything to do with collusion. He was with the transition team. He was part of the campaign. And, yet, there is no mention of collusion,” he claimed, despite the probe being focused on Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials. "Even though they said he substantially cooperated, I think he substantially cooperated to say that there was no collusion and we can look at it with that in mind."
“The recommendation of no jail time for Flynn, apart from its obvious irony for the man who led chants of ‘lock her up,’ reflects both the timeliness and significance of his help,” wrote Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. “That most of the details are redacted signals he has given far more than we or the President may know.”
Rep. Ted Lieu said that the memo is a signal to “other targets that if they cooperate, they will get leniency.” He also noted that Mueller refered to multiple ongoing investigations in the memo and added that he thinks “Mueller believes his job is secure & felt no need to disclose what he has uncovered.”