Ex-Trump aide Flynn deserves up to 6 months in prison

Ex-Trump aide Flynn deserves up to 6 months in prison

Ex-Trump aide Flynn deserves up to 6 months in prison

Federal prosecutors recommended that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, be sentenced to up to six months in prison after he failed to comply with the terms of his cooperation deal.

Flynn's lawyer, Sidney Powell, called prosecutors' recommendation "sickening" in an emailed statement, and said they were trying to punish the former Army lieutenant general "for not lying for them in the Rafiekian trial".

"In light of the complete record, including actions subsequent to December 18, 2018, that negate the benefits of much of the defendant's earlier cooperation, the government no longer deems the defendant's assistance 'substantial, '" wrote prosecutor Brandon Van Grack in a court filing. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected each of the defense arguments in a lengthy opinion earlier this month.

"For that reason, the government asks this Court to inquire of the defendant as to whether he maintains those apparent statements of innocence or whether he disavows them and fully accepts responsibility for his criminal conduct", they added.

He also fired his lawyers and replaced them with new ones who have taken a strikingly contentious stance toward Mueller's investigation, accusing FBI agents of effectively entrapping Flynn when they interviewed him at the White House and saying prosecutors had withheld documents and other information favorable to Flynn.

The defendant is now scheduled to be sentenced nearly exactly three years from the date of his primary criminal conduct - lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - and the intervening years have included periods where the defendant has sought to assist and aid the government, and periods where the defendant has sought to thwart the efforts of the government to hold other individuals, principally Bijan Rafiekian, accountable for criminal wrongdoing.

At the time, he was the closest Trump associate to agree to cooperate in Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Flynn's sentence also must "deter others from lying to the government", the Justice Department said, especially given ongoing threats from foreign governments.

The events prompted Trump to ask then-FBI Director James Comey about "letting Flynn go", referring to the agency's ongoing investigation, setting off a chain of events that resulted in Mueller's appointment as special counsel.

When he was set to be sentenced in December 2018, the government asked that Flynn receive credit for both his "substantial" assistance and for his acceptance of responsibility.

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