A federal judge Tuesday abruptly postponed the sentencing of President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, declaring himself disgusted and disdainful of Flynn's crime of lying to the FBI and raising the unexpected prospect of sending the retired Army lieutenant general to prison.
The retired US Army three-star lieutenant general lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his conversations with the Russian ex-ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak.
He told FBI investigators on Jan 24, 2017, that he had not discussed U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak, when in fact he had, according to his plea agreement.
Still, the mere insinuation of underhanded tactics has been startling given the seemingly productive relationship between the two sides, and it was especially striking since prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller's office have praised Flynn's cooperation and recommended against prison time.
Sullivan deliberately telegraphed his intention to impose a prison sentence in defiance of the joint recommendation of the Mueller and Flynn's defense attorney, who agreed that Flynn should not serve any prison time.
Flynn accepted that offer.
The notes also show Flynn told agents he didn't ask Kislyak to see if Russian Federation would vote a certain way on a United Nations resolution involving Israeli settlements.
Flynn also allegedly lied to investigators about Kislyak's subsequent answer that Russian Federation would moderate its response, according to the charge document.
Flynn was a high-profile adviser to Trump's campaign team. Flynn is expected to testify.
"The only thing he said is we would take a look at it", Sanders told reporters, adding Trump has given "nothing committal at all in that process".
"Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn". Flynn left the courthouse hand-in-hand with his wife, climbing into an SUV as protesters heckled and supporters chanted "USA!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. "The defendant chose to make false statements about his communications with the Russian ambassador weeks before the Federal Bureau of Investigation interview, when he lied about that topic to the media, the incoming Vice President, and other members of the Presidential Transition Team". It was Flynn's mistake not to have lawyers there, Moss said. Mueller also has charged a series of Russian individuals and entities.
Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" and has denied collusion with Moscow.
While he could face almost as much as six months in prison, Flynn is not expected to serve any time in part due to a sentencing memo filed by Mueller just last week that stated Flynn provided "substantial assistance" in his interviews with the special counsel since his guilty plea. Russian Federation has denied meddling in the election, contrary to the conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that have said Moscow used hacking and propaganda to try to sow discord in the United States and boost Trump's chances against Clinton.
Last week, his legal team had argued that investigators never made clear to him it was a crime to lie, and had discouraged him from having a lawyer present.