The Latest Developments Involving Manafort And Flynn In Mueller's Investigation

Mueller confirmed the contacts 14 close to the Trump entities with the Russians, – WP

Attorneys for Michael Flynn released a sentencing memo suggesting 200 hours of community service and no prison time, in return for his cooperation with the USA government's Russian Federation investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller defended the propriety of federal agents' January 2017 interview with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, during which he told lies that led to criminal charges.

Prosecutors said Friday that Flynn voluntarily agreed to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation without a lawyer present and had enough experience in government to understand the consequences of lying and "the importance of accurate information to decision making in areas of national security".

Flynn's lawyers cited Justice Department documents stating that the FBI agents who interviewed him did not brief or remind the then White House adviser that lying to federal investigators is a crime. They said Flynn agreed to meet with the FBI without a lawyer present and, unlike other defendants charged in Mueller's investigation, had enough experience in government to understand the consequences of lying and "the importance of accurate information to decision making in areas of national security".

The agents also, according to Flynn's lawyers, did not advise Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal offense.

Flynn's calls to Kislyak, during which he made assurances about the incoming administration, were part of a broader effort by senior Trump officials to create foreign policy before they were in power, and they alarmed FBI investigators who were already scrutinizing Flynn as part of the Russian Federation inquiry.

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In arguing for no prison time, Flynn's lawyers cited his "extraordinary" army service as well as a lifetime of devotion to family, fellow service members and veterans. "They convinced him he did lie, and he made some kind of a deal", Trump said in the television interview.

Flynn also lied to then incoming-Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the transition team, causing President Trump to reluctantly fire him in December 2017. More than a year after the three-star general and former national security advisor pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, Flynn is set to be sentenced on December 18. And the only notes directly related to the January 2017 interview with Flynn was a summary written by McCabe, who seemed to have convinced Flynn the objective of the meeting was to discuss leaks to the media about his calls with Ambassador Kislyak. He also says his now-former lawyer, Cohen, lied to get a lighter sentence in NY. The lawyers said Flynn received a call out of the blue from then-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He'll be the first official in President Donald Trump's administration to be sentenced in the case.

In Tuesday's filing, Flynn gives details on meeting with FBI investigators near the beginning of the Trump administration.

Flynn has given 19 interviews to prosecutors, five of those before he pleaded guilty, according to his filing.

During the campaign, Flynn was a close adviser to Trump. Despite this, Mueller said he will not pursue a more painful punishment. After being fired by Trump that spring, Comey was later criticized by the Justice Department inspector general for going behind the back of Yates' predecessor, Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to hold a press conference about the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Trump brushed off a question about his associates' interactions with Russians before and during his presidential campaign as just "peanut stuff" during an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.