President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser should not face time in prison, the Special Counsel’s office told a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday, as Robert Mueller’s team cited extensive assistance by Michael Flynn not only with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, but also with at least two other unnamed investigations.
In a heavily redacted submission to a federal judge overseeing Flynn’s case, the Special Counsel’s office said Flynn, “deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” as Mueller said Flynn provided “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials.”
Flynn plead guilty in December 2017 to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russian officials during the Trump transition.
The Special Counsel said a “sentence in the low end of the guideline range – including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration – is appropriate and warranted.”
Despite a buildup in some quarters of the news media, Mueller did not release new details about what Flynn has told investigators, though it was clear that Flynn had been helping in areas that did not relate to the Russia probe.
In fact, the Russia investigation was listed second in what appeared to be a reference to three different probes in which Flynn had provided information and testimony.
The court submission said Flynn had done 19 interviews – but not all were with the Special Counsel’s office, as it described meetings with “other Department of Justice” offices – but no details on what those involved.
In one unknown “Criminal Investigation,” all but the first ten words were blacked out in the publicly released document.
Democrats said the document clearly showed Mueller was getting significant information from Flynn, who was once head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama Administration.
“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,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). “That most of the details are redacted signals he has given far more than we or the President may know.”
The closest thing to an official reaction from the Flynn camp came from Flynn’s son, who tweeted, “To those who have supported us throughout this process….Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The Special Counsel’s office has two other opportunities this week to release additional information about the ongoing investigation, as on Friday lawyers will file pre-sentencing memos covering both former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.