Mueller's office to recommend sentencing for ex-Trump aide Flynn

President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen exits Federal Court after entering a guilty plea in Manhattan. Reuters

President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen exits Federal Court after entering a guilty plea in Manhattan. Reuters

As BuzzFeed News's Chris Geidner noted, it appears likely from the length of the redaction bar that the first criminal investigation is not a matter being conducted by the special counsel's office-though, of course, it's impossible to know for certain.

The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn's assistance in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible contacts with the Trump campaign.

"His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the first people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation", the memo states.

Flynn has sat for 19 interviews with the special counsel and other Justice Department offices, and his early cooperation gave prosecutors a road map for their Russian Federation investigation and may have helped to encourage others to cooperate, the filing states.

"If this is the best we've got coming out of Mueller's investigation, it is time that he writes the report, closes it out, and let the American people focus on what is important to them", Meadows said.

Mueller's team credited Flynn with serving 33 years in the U.S. Army, including five years in combat.

Prosecutors said Flynn also provided help on other criminal investigations, although those details were blacked out to keep information about ongoing probes secret.

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And on a highway near the southern city of Aubagne, protesters took over a toll booth to let vehicles pass for free. He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests and has largely remained in his palace residence.

Mueller's office has had varied degrees of success with the level of cooperation it has received from defendants who have pleaded guilty. Most notably, Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, aggressively fought the investigation and is now facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence after his cooperation agreement recently fell apart over allegations that he had lied to investigators. Trump's former adviser pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his communication with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Prosecutors said the two men discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation and that Flynn also asked Kislyak to help delay a United Nations vote seen as damaging to Israel. He has instead spent considerable time with his family and worked to position himself for a post-conviction career.

Flynn's false statements stemmed from a January 24, 2017, interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his and others' interactions with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's then-ambassador to the USA, as the Obama administration was levying sanctions on the Kremlin in response to election interference.

Mueller's office blamed Flynn for other senior Trump transition officials making misleading public statements about his contacts with Russian Federation, an assertion that matches the White House's explanation of Flynn's firing. The prosecutors said senior members of Trump's transition team publicly repeated false information conveyed to them by Flynn about his communications with Kislyak. The anticipation was understandable: Unlike some other Mueller targets, Flynn essentially vanished at the time of his plea in December 2017. During those conversations with Kislyak, Flynn asked Russian Federation to delay or vote against the resolution, a request the Kremlin ultimately rejected. It started with the Obama administration's unhappiness that Flynn, during the transition as the incoming national security adviser, had phone conversations with Russia's then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn was forced to resign his post on February 13, 2017, after news reports revealed that Obama administration officials had warned the Trump White House about Flynn's false statements.

According to the heavily-redacted 13-page memo, Flynn participated in 19 interviews with the office of the special counsel or lawyers from the Justice Department as part of his cooperation with the investigation.

Flynn also made false statements to the Justice Department, the filing states, in his March 2017 foreign lobbying filing about his work in Turkey - including failing to disclose his ties to the Turkish government when he wrote a November 2016 op-ed calling for the removal of a cleric residing in the US.

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