Flynn Was Key Cooperator and Deserves Little Prison Time, Mueller Team Says

Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, helped substantially with the special counsel’s investigation and should receive little to no prison time for lying to federal investigators, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Mr. Flynn was a key cooperator who helped the Justice Department with several investigations, prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said. He sat for 19 interviews with Mr. Mueller’s office and other prosecutors and handed over documents and communications, they said.

“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into the subject of Mr. Mueller’s investigation — Russia’s election interference and whether any Trump associates conspired, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing recommendation memorandum and an addendum that was heavily blacked out.

In particular, they wrote, he might have prompted others to cooperate with the inquiry. “The defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming,” prosecutors said.

They also indicated that Mr. Flynn helped with other investigations without revealing details about them.

Mr. Flynn, who served briefly as the president’s national security adviser, is the only White House aide and the first person from the president’s inner circle to strike a cooperation deal with the special counsel’s office in exchange for a more lenient penalty. He pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak.

“The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” prosecutors wrote.

The cases of some other former Trump aides caught up in the special counsel investigation are also nearing resolution, marking an active week for Mr. Mueller’s inquiry. By Friday, Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors are due to enumerate how they believe Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, violated a plea agreement and separately to outline the extent of cooperation by Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer.

 

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