WASHINGTON – Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor in charge of the Russia election meddling probe, recommended Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn face no jail time due to his “substantial” cooperation with the investigation.
Mueller said in a court filing that Flynn, who said he has lied about his contacts with Russians following Trump’s November 2016 election victory, had helped in his and other unspecified federal criminal investigations, including being interviewed 19 times.
Mueller told the Washington Federal court that even though Flynn had committed a “serious” offence, the retired three-star general and former Pentagon intelligence chief had a strong record of military and public service.
The recommendation has come as a surprise by many, as Flynn is due to be sentenced but it has been postponed four times in 2018.
These postponements at first indicated the hostile investigation that threatens Trump and his inner circle, Flynn had possibly become a valuable witness.
“Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set forth below, a sentence at the low end of the guideline range, including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration, is appropriate and warranted,” Mueller said in a memorandum to the court.
In an interview with investigators on 24 January 2017, four days after Trump’s inauguration, Flynn lied about conversations he had in December 2016, with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak.
The conversations were reportedly recorded by US intelligence, Flynn appeared to undermine then president Barack Obama policy, by making side political deals with Moscow. With the conversations leaked, Trump was recommended to fire Flynn but instead he resigned after he was also revealed he lied about the discussions he had with Kislyak.
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