Mueller files recommendation for punishment of Mike Flynn

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WASHINGTON ― Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has offered extensive cooperation in the Russian Federation investigation and shouldn't spend any time in prison, special counsel Robert Mueller's team said in a court filing on Tuesday.

Mueller has said that on 29 December 2016, Flynn asked Russia's ambassador not to retaliate against Obama's sanctions, after receiving instructions from a senior member of Trump's transition team, who was with the president-elect at Trump's private club in Florida.

Flynn, who held the White House job for only 24 days, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian Federation.

The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn's assistance in the Russian Federation investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors.

In September, the special counsel's office officially scheduled December 18 for Flynn's sentencing.

Under federal guidelines, the retired Army lieutenant general's crime carries a penalty of up to six months in prison.

According to his plea, Flynn discussed US sanctions with Kislyak on Trump's behalf during the presidential transition and said members of the president's inner circle were aware of, and in some cases directing, his efforts. Because Trump's presidential bid was part of the reason to pay the women, it could have been classified as campaign contributions, the prosecutors argued.

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

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading an investigation that is looking at whether the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests during the presidential election of 2016.

To date, there have been scant details from Mueller's team about the extent of Flynn's cooperation, including how many times he was interviewed, what he disclosed and whether he fully cooperated to their satisfaction.

According to memos kept by former FBI Director James Comey, Trump allegedly tried to protect Flynn at the time, calling him a "good guy" and asking Comey to dismiss the investigation into Flynn's false statements. Stone told ABC News on Sunday he would not testify against Trump and has not discussed a pardon with the president. The plea deal said Flynn's cooperation may include answering questions, taking government-administered polygraph examinations, providing sworn statements and participating in "covert law enforcement activities".

The special counsel concludes by noting that Flynn's early guilty plea, "likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the [special counsel's office] and cooperate".

Flynn, who turns 60 on Wednesday, is among a number of people in Trump's orbit who have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

The special counsel has until Friday to submit similar sentencing memos for Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, who spent a decade as the real estate tycoon's personal lawyer.

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