WASHINGTON (AP) – After months of delay, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn now has a sentencing date.
A federal judge on Wednesday set Flynn’s sentencing for Dec. 18, more than a year after the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during the presidential transition.
The move comes just days after prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller said they were ready for Flynn’s case to conclude. Flynn, a senior Trump campaign surrogate who gave a memorable speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention calling for the jailing of Democrat Hillary Clinton, has been a key cooperator in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and coordination with Trump associates.
But prosecutors have yet to reveal the extent of his cooperation, and according to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order, the public won’t see any details until after the midterm election.
Prosecutors won’t be required to file a sentencing memorandum – a document which usually contains the government’s view on the value of the cooperation – until Dec. 4.
When he pleaded guilty last year, Flynn admitted to lying during an FBI interview about the content of his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
According to his plea, Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak on Trump’s behalf during the presidential transition and said members of the president’s inner circle were aware of, and in some cases directing, his efforts. Flynn had urged Kislyak not to respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to Russian election interference.
When confronted by FBI agents about the conversations, court papers say Flynn made “material false statements and omissions” about those conversations, and that untruthfulness impeded what was then an FBI counterintelligence investigation. That probe was later taken over by Mueller, who has brought indictments against Russians that detail a broad campaign to attempt to help Trump’s candidacy and hurt Clinton’s during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Flynn’s interview occurred in January 2017, shortly after he took his post as national security adviser in the Trump White House. He was forced to resign in February 2017. The White House said he was fired for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about the content of his conversations with Kislyak.
As part of his plea, Flynn also admitted to lying about Turkish lobbying and research work. He belatedly registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for the work weeks after he left the White House.
Flynn and other Trump campaign officials who have pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation have not been accused of any crimes related to election interference.
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