We didn’t force Mike Flynn to lie to the FBI, says Mueller’s attorneys after Trump’s disgraced national security adviser claimed he was trapped by agents
- Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States during the transition
- Flynn asked a judge not to send him to prison on Tuesday and sentencing is scheduled for next week
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller has recommended no prison time for Flynn
- Flynn met with Mueller’s investigators 19 times and provided assistance
- Mueller’s team swatted back at Flynn’s suggestion that he was tricked into lying in the first place in court documents on Friday
- Prosecutors said that Flynn should be granted leniency from the court – but only if he continues to be contrite for his actions
The special counsel slapped down a claim by lawyers for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn that they tricked the ex-White House official into lying.
Flynn asked a judge on Tuesday to spare him prison time, saying he had devoted his career to his country and taken responsibility for an ‘uncharacteristic error in judgment,’ prompting Robert Mueller respond on Friday.
Prosecutors said that Flynn should be granted leniency from the court — but only if he continues to be contrite.
‘The seriousness of the defendant’s offense cannot be called into question, and the court should reject his attempt to minimize it,’ the document said.
Mueller’s office, which last week said that Flynn’s cooperation — including 19 meetings with investigators —was so extensive that he was entitled to avoid prison when he is sentenced next week.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations during the presidential transition period with the then-Russian ambassador to the United States, will become the first White House official punished in the Special Counsel’s ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
In court papers Tuesday, he requested probation and community service for his false statements.
Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn (seen above in July), asked a judge Tuesday to spare him prison time
The filing comes as lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said they were still deciding whether to dispute allegations that he lied to investigators and breached his plea agreement.
A judge gave Manafort until Jan. 7 to respond to prosecutors’ claims that he misled them about his interactions with an associate who they say has ties to Russian intelligence and with Trump administration officials.
The defendants, their fortunes sliding in opposite directions, represent starkly different paths in Mueller’s investigation – a model cooperator on one end and, prosecutors say, a dishonest and resistant witness on the other.
Even as prosecutors recommend no prison time for Flynn, they’ve left open the possibility they may seek additional charges against Manafort, who is already facing years in prison.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI over statements he made about meeting the then-ambassador of Russia during the Trump transition. Trump is seen above in Oval Office on Tuesday
Given both men’s extensive conversations with prosecutors, and their involvement in key episodes under scrutiny, the pair could pose a threat to Trump, who in addition to Mueller’s investigation is entangled in a separate probe by prosecutors in New York into hush-money payments paid during the campaign to two women who say they had affairs with the president.
Since his guilty plea a year ago, Flynn has stayed largely out of the public eye and refrained from discussing the Russia investigation despite encouragement from his supporters to take an aggressive stance.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, spent three decades in the military, including five years in combat.
In a public statement after his plea, Flynn has said he cooperated with prosecutors because it was in ‘the best interests of my family and our country.’
Flynn will become the first White House official punished in the Special Counsel’s ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is seen in the above photo
In Manafort’s case, prosecutors have accused him of repeatedly lying to them even after he agreed to cooperate.
They say Manafort lied about his interactions with a longtime associate they say has ties to Russian intelligence, his contacts with Trump administration officials and other matters under investigation by the Justice Department.
Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington in September and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia, where he was convicted of eight felony counts related to his efforts to hide millions of dollars he earned from Ukrainian political consulting from the IRS.