Mueller's office denies Federal Bureau of Investigation tricked Flynn

Dec 17, 2018, 19:13
Mueller's office denies Federal Bureau of Investigation tricked Flynn

One week ago, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended to federal Judge Emmet Sullivan in the District of Columbia that Flynn has provided "substantial assistance" in the Russian Federation investigation, including possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's 2016 campaign, and should be spared from prison time. Flynn wrote a foreword to Scopelliti's self-published book, "America First: The MAGA Manifesto", earlier this year.

President Donald Trump's first national security adviser is asking for probation and community service in his false statements case stemming from the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

He is asking for no jail time and has offered to do 200 hours of community service.

But Flynn is not going down quietly. Investigators have examined key episodes such as Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his fury over the recusal from the investigation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The meeting with Flynn in the White House was set up by then-FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe, who served as the agency's acting director after James Comey was sacked by Trump as FBI director in May 2017.

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It's not clear from Sullivan's order whether he considers there to be a dispute to resolve or if he just wants to see the underlying documents as he decides Flynn's sentence.

They contrasted Flynn's case with that of Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Trump campaign associates, who have pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities and were both informed of the seriousness of the crime.

"A sitting National Security Adviser, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents", Mueller's office said in a court filing.

It also prompted a quick response from Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who is presiding over the case. Defense lawyers raised questions about how Federal Bureau of Investigation agents first interviewed him at the White House on January 24, 2017, four days after Trump took office. Mueller's office is considering bringing more criminal charges against Manafort after it accused him of violating his plea deal to cooperate with prosecutors.

In the filing Mueller said Flynn lied to the media and senior administration officials in the weeks leading up to the interview, telling them he had not discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak when in fact he had.

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Flynn's lies, the special counsel writes, were well-practiced.

"Flynn was so talkative, and had so much time for them, that Strzok wondered if the National Security Adviser did not have more important things to do than have such a relaxed, non-pertinent discussion with them", according to notes from the interview.

The agents also, according to Flynn's lawyers, did not advise Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal offense. But, it's clear from the way that footnote is worded the Mueller team is trying to preemptively deny that handing it over when they finally did was any sort of violation of the Brady Ruling that Judge Sullivan issued to them on February 21. We had heard last week from the special counsel that Flynn had met with them 19 times. Page, who exited the special counsel's team in July 2017, left her phone at the office; the device was not located until September 2018 and had been reset to factory settings two weeks after she left. How can a prosecutor delete information contained on a government device used by government employees?

Trump continued to refer to the investigation as a "hoax" and claimed there was "no collusion". Congress needs to demand an answer why the destruction of government property (texts, emails, and other communications) let alone the destruction of evidence is acceptable conduct by the special counsel.

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