Yuri Gripas | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security advisor, arrives for a status hearing at federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
President Donald Trump‘s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, is set to be sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday — and despite a recent dispute with special counsel Robert Mueller, there’s good reason to believe he will get a light punishment.
More than a year after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate withMueller‘s investigation, Flynn and his lawyers will make their final pitch to keep the retired Army lieutenant general out of jail.
In a pre-sentence memo filed to Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C., federal court, Flynn’s lawyers requested he get just one year’s probation with minimal supervision, along with 200 hours of community service.
Mueller, in his own memo, also asked the judge for leniency.
Trump himself addressed Flynn’s sentencing with an early morning tweet Tuesday, in which he wished the retired lieutenant general “good luck.”
While federal sentencing guidelines suggest Flynn’s crime warrants from zero to six months incarceration, the special counsel said that “the low end” of that range — and possibly no time locked up at all — would be “appropriate and warranted.” Mueller pointedly cited Flynn’s help with uncovering contacts between Trump’s presidential transition team and Russian government officials.
Flynn, 60, “provided firsthand information about the content and context of” such interactions, the memo said. That document highlighted the value of Flynn’s information to the special counsel, who is continuing to investigate Russia’s election interference, and potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the nature of his discussions with Sergey Kislyak, who was Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., during the presidential transition period following the November 2016 election.
After just 24 days as Trump’s national security advisor, Flynn resigned after allegedly repeating those lies to Vice President Mike Pence and other officials. He began cooperating with law enforcement officials even before pleading guilty in December 2017 to one count of making false statements, according to the court documents.
Overall, Flynn had 19 meetings with Mueller’s team and other officials totaling nearly 63 hours, according to court filings.