Special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday night called for a light sentence — one that might not include — any time in jail at all — for Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor to President Donald Trump.
Mueller’s sentencing memo, related to Flynn’s lies to federal agents about his conversations with a top Russian diplomat during the presidential transition from late 2016 into early 2017, will be considered by Judge Emmet Sullivan before he sentences Flynn on Dec. 18 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, has cooperated with Mueller’s ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 president election since pleading guilty in Dec. 1, 2017, and possible coordination with that meddling by the Trump campaign. Mueller is also investigating whether Trump has obstructed justice in the inquiry.
“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’s office wrote in the memo filed Tuesday.
Flynn’s lawyers will file their own sentencing memorandum by next week.
He faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison, but his plea agreement with Mueller says he is eligible for a sentence ranging from no time in prison to six months locked up.
Flynn’s sentencing has already been postponed several times in the past year at Mueller’s request, which is likely a reflection of how extensively the former Trump administration officials has been helpful to the special counsel’s investigation.
Mueller is expected to file another court document later this week in connection with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Those documents will detail Mueller’s allegation that the longtime Republican consultant Manafort, who pleaded guilty in August to multiple crimes unrelated to the campaign, had lied since then to investigators after agreeing like Flynn to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.
Flynn had served only briefly as Trump’s national security advisor — just 24 days. He is the only member of the Trump administration to date to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by Mueller’s probe.
He was forced to resign Feb. 13, 2017, after being accused of lying to Vice President Mike Flynn and other top Trump administration officials about the nature of his discussions with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the presidential transition.