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Mike Flynn thinks the FBI tricked him into lying about Russia

His lawyers ask for 200 hours community service and no prison time.

by David Gilbert
Dec 12 2018, 11:40am

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Mike Flynn asked for a sentence of 200 hours community service and no prison time Tuesday, after pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents about his interactions with Russian officials.

In a sentencing memo, Flynn’s lawyers argued that their client’s early guilty plea, long military service and the extensive help he gave to special counsel Robert Mueller during 19 interviews warrant a light sentence.

The memo includes more than four dozen letters of support from family, friends and former colleagues at the Pentagon.

Flynn’s plea comes just a week after Mueller’s office released its sentencing memo, which also called for no jail time.

The former White House staffer will be sentenced on Dec. 18 by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

The memo reveals how the FBI interviewed Flynn just days after Donald Trump’s inauguration and did not inform him of the penalties of lying to an agent.

READ: Mueller says Flynn should avoid jail

Citing internal FBI reports, the memo said officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The memo singles out former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe — who rang Flynn two hours before his interview — and senior counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who was one of the two agents that conducted the interview.

Both men were fired from the FBI this year and have been the focus of anger from Trump and his allies, who have accused them of seeking to undermine the presidency.

What Flynn failed to tell the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017, was that in late 2016, during the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, he contacted then-Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak, to request that Russia “vote against or delay” a UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

Separately, Flynn asked Kisylak to stop the Kremlin from imposing retaliatory sanctions on the U.S. after the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for interfering in the 2016 election.

Flynn’s extraordinary cooperation with the Mueller probe — which totaled 62 hours and 45 minutes according to his lawyers — stands in contrast with Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who breached his plea agreement with investigators by lying, leaving open the possibility of more charges against.

Cover image: Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security advisor, arrives for a status hearing at federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images)