Michael Flynn knew better than to lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation: prosecutors
19:13, Dec 17, 2018
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The memo gives a broader scope of Flynn's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's office - beyond what was revealed last month in Mueller's sentencing recommendation memo for Flynn.
The disagreement is unlikely to affect Flynn's chances for probation, but it's attracted the attention of President Donald Trump, who said this week that Flynn did not lie despite having fired him almost two years ago for just that reason.
When the agents arrived, Flynn appeared "relaxed and jocular", offering to give them a tour of the White House, his lawyers wrote.
Mueller's office had previously told the court that he should receive little to no jail time due to his "substantial assistance" in the special counsel's Russian Federation probe. But in a memo this week seeking leniency, they revealed details from the interview that helped stoke an unfounded theory that Flynn's relaxed appearance during the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents' questioning was potential evidence that he did not actually lie, and they blamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation for not informing Flynn ahead of time that lying to agents is illegal.
"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 the court filing.
One of the agents who interviewed Flynn was Peter Strzok, the FBI senior counter-intelligence agent who disparaged Trump in inflammatory text messages and helped oversee the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as the Russian Federation inquiry in its early months.
Flynn is set to be sentenced on Tuesday.
The interview was arranged by the FBI deputy director at the time, Andrew McCabe, who was sacked later after internal FBI investigators found that he had not been forthcoming about authorizing discussions with a reporter about a pending investigation.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned under pressure on February 13 after only 24 days on the job, setting a record for the shortest tenure in the post. Among them, Mueller's reply to the defendant's sentencing memo; the FBI's 302 report from the Flynn FBI interview; and, FBI Director Andrew McCabe's notes on the interview.
DiGenova said Flynn knew that all of his conversations with the Russian ambassador were legal and nearly certainly being recorded by the government.
Central to the investigation are Flynn's December 2016 phone discussions of Obama administration sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, conversations that triggered intelligence community alarms and led to his ouster from the administration after officials maintained that he had lied to them about the communications. Mr. McCabe said that if Mr. Flynn felt he needed counsel present, he'd need to involve the Department of Justice. 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.
Wallace noted that Flynn must have calculated it wasn't in Trump's interest for them to put out that Flynn spoke to Kislyak after President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russian Federation.
The special counsel's office also notes that Flynn, who was previously a high-ranking national security official, should have been cognizant of what he was doing. If Flynn would not confirm what he had said, the agents had agreed not to confront him. I believe there was a document from the prosecutors the other day where they said that Flynn was different than a lot of the other people or even every other person that they've had to deal with in that he has so many years of meritorious service. Around the same time, President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges.
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