Special Counsel Robert Mueller Recommends No Jail Time in Exchange for Michael Flynn's 'Substantial Assistance'

Special counsel Robert Mueller is recommending that former retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn serve little to no jail time in exchange for the former national security adviser’s “substantial assistance” in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set forth, 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,” the special counsel wrote.

According to ABC News, Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period following the election in 2016 to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. As part of a plea agreement with the special counsel, Flynn agreed to cooperate in the investigation.

Flynn’s crime carries a penalty of up to six months in prison according to federal guidelines, ABC News reports.

Tuesday’s memo from the special counsel’s office appears to list at least three ongoing investigations being pursued by the Justice Department, and the office says Flynn has cooperated with the investigation into ties and coordination between Russia and members of Trump’s team, CNN reports.

The memo says Flynn has assisted “on a range of issues, including interactions between individuals in the Presidential Transition Team and Russia” but the rest of the description regarding Flynn’s assistance is redacted.

According to the special counsel, Flynn has “participated in 19 interviews with the [special counsel’s office] or attorneys from other Department of Justice offices,” and gave “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials.”

“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the [special counsel’s office],” Mueller wrote.

“Additionally, the defendant's decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the (special counsel's office) and cooperate,” the memo said.

Mueller noted in the memo that several of the investigations “in which [Flynn] has provided assistance are ongoing.”

Flynn, a distinguished military officer with government experience, forged a close relationship with Trump during the 2016 presidential election, and became an advisor, CNN reports.

Trump dismiss Flynn as his national security adviser 21 days into the new administration, calling him a “fine man” but said he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador during the transition.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful,” Trump tweeted about Flynn last year.

Flynn’s sentencing is scheduled for December 18th, ABC News reports.