Special counsel notes Flynn’s cooperation, recommends no jail time


U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said on Tuesday President Donald Trump's ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn provided "substantial" cooperation with its probe into possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Moscow.

In court filings Mueller said Flynn, a former aid to President Donald Trump, had played a significant role in helping the investigation and therefore a sentence "at the low end of the advisory guideline range is appropriate and warranted".

Details of the other two investigations are redacted - one is identified as a "criminal" investigation - although Mueller notes that Flynn spoke to prosecutors from "other Department of Justice offices" and "provided documents and communications".

Flynn, whose sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period from election day 2016 to Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

Mueller determined Cohen lied to congressional investigators, and the former Trump "fixer" admitted to making false statements about the nature and scope of work he did on the Moscow tower project, including revealing the work went on well into Trump's 2016 campaign for the White House and included talks with a Kremlin official in an attempt to get Russian President Vladimir Putin's support for the project.

Trump has called Mueller's probe a witch hunt and has denied colluding with Russian Federation.

Mueller has also secured the cooperation of others in the Trump circle with a view on those months, including Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer, and Rick Gates, an associate of Paul Manafort who was a fixture on Trump's campaign and inauguration teams. Those negotiations, he said, lasted until five months before the election, far longer than previously known, and Trump was kept in the loop.

He has largely remained out of the public eye since leaving the Trump administration, having been forced to quit after being found to have lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over interactions with ex-Russian US ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

America may get its most intimate look yet inside Robert Mueller's secretive Russian Federation investigation in the next four days, with a series of disclosures that have the potential to be greatly damaging for President Donald Trump.

Manafort lied about contacts with Trump officials says Mueller
Michael Cohen US President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer

It was filed ahead of Flynn's December 18 sentencing.

And it says nothing whatsoever about what information he gave them.

"If these submissions are not filed under seal, I would expect to learn much more about the special counsel's investigation into the election of 2016 campaign than we know to date", said former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, an NBC News analyst. "Additionally, the defendant's decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related first-hand witnesses to be forthcoming with the SCO and cooperate".

The Cohen plea along with past indictments and guilty pleas have bolstered the credibility of the Russian Federation probe, even though the president continues to dismiss it as a witch hunt.

After Cohen pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress, Trump called his former attorney "a weak person". Another Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, is serving a 14-day prison sentence and, though he pleaded guilty to the same crime as Flynn, was denied probation because prosecutors said his cooperation is lacking.

Whenever there is a new "bombshell" in the Russian Federation probe, it is always important to remember that, unless Trump's base of political support starts to leave him, none of it really matters, except to those who are heading to prison.

Cohen, who once famously bragged he would "take a bullet" for Trump, told investigators in August that then-candidate Trump had ordered him to illegally arrange payments to buy the silence of two women who claimed affairs with Trump prior to the 2016 election.

A sentencing memo has been filed on Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney.

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