Mueller says Flynn gave “substantial assistance” in Russia probe, zero jail time is “appropriate”

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Michael Flynn
Credits: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended to a federal court that Michael Flynn should not get jail time due to his “substantial assistance” in the Russia probe and other ongoing investigations.

Flynn served as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump for a very short period in early 2017. He pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and decided to cooperate with Mueller in December.

In a heavily redacted court filing, Mueller said, “The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government.”  He also stated that a “sentence at the low end of the advisory guideline range is appropriate and warranted.”

Based on the federal sentencing guidelines, Flynn could get a prison time of zero to six months and pay a penalty of up to $9,500.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is set to sentence Flynn on December 18.

Flynn’s “early cooperation was particularly valuable”

An Addendum to the court filing described the extent of Flynn’s cooperation with the Special Counsel’s Office (SCO).

According to Mueller’s team of prosecutors, Flynn “participated in 19 interviews with the SCO and attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

He provided substantial assistance on several ongoing investigations including a criminal investigation and the Special Counsel’s investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Flynn gave “firsthand information about the content and context of interaction” between Trump’s transition team and Russian government officials.

In addition, prosecutors noted that the benefit from Flynn’s assistance “may not be fully realized at this time” because the investigations are still ongoing.

Furthermore, they stressed that his “early cooperation was particularly valuable.” They cited the fact that he “was one of the few people with long-term insight regarding the events and issues under investigation.”

Moreover, the prosecutors believed Flynn’s “decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decision of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with SCO and cooperate.”