Mueller Recommends No Incarceration for Michael Flynn

The Special Counsel's office has filed its Sentencing Memorandum for Michael Flynn. The memo recommends Flynn be spared a sentence of incarceration due to his timely plea, his years of service to the military, and his cooperation.

Mueller's office also filed a sealed supplement, outlining his cooperation and asking for a downward departure from his sentencing range because of it.
In the Sentencing Memo, Team Mueller writes:

The defendant’s record of military and public service distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part the SCO’s investigation.


On the other hand, they write:

[S]enior government leaders should be held to the highest standards. The defendant’s extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on behalf of a foreign government.

There were three distinct areas he lied: His paid work for Russian state media, his lobbying work for Turkey (which may or may not have involved an unacceptable plan to kidnap the cleric and remove him to Turkey, bypassing the legal system)and his meetings with Russian diplomat Sergei Kisylak. The New York Times had this helpful graphic.

The Flynn sentencing memo certainly has a different tone than the memo the Government filed for George Papadopoulos, whose sentencing guideline range was also 0 to 6 months. Team Mueller asked for "some incarceration" for him and he got 14 days. (He whined all the way to the prison door,threatening to withdraw his plea, asking for delays, sending his wife to appear on Fox News to plead his case on TV).

It's not too often a U.S. general gets sentenced for committing a crime. The last one I remember is General Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information and was sentenced to two years probation. He also lied about the disclosure when questioned by the DOD about it.

Mueller isn't saying exactly what Flynn did that was valuable, only that he may not be done investigating what Flynn told him.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I cannot help thinking of the evening (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 12:32:17 PM EST
    Ok. That does it. LWOP. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 04:27:11 PM EST
    You know what they say about (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 10:28:27 PM EST
    the liberal who's been mugged and the conservative who's been indicted. Perhaps Flynn has learned something from this experience.

    How to sing. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 10:29:24 AM EST
    I was hoping for something more (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 12:18:42 PM EST
    in the nature of empathy.

    Ha. You hope in vain. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 06:27:51 PM EST
    You don't get empathy from a caricature. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 01:48:46 PM EST
    The preening and pompous Mike Flynn has always struck me as a combination of Gens. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) from Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove."

    That said, I do appreciate the irony of the roughest, toughest, most Trumpian Trumpster of them all during the 2016 campaign -- outside of Der Trumpenführer himself, of course -- apparently singing to the Office of Special Counsel like a pet shop canary.



    Mr. Mueller is (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 03:49:40 PM EST
    methodically flipping smaller fish to catch yet  bigger ones.  Michael Flynn, as National Security Advisor, was a pretty big fish so not too much doubt remains as to the casting direction for  bigger fish.  However, the outcome for Flynn (and, in the process, for his sorry son) is now known, but not much else---leaving, at least at this point, a sense of unsatisfaction.

    Even if Flynn had done a tenth of what he was caught doing, he would be lucky not to be locked up. And, not too fond of that on the one hand, and on the other mitigating/non-mitigating part: on the one hand, public and military service, and on the other, higher standards. What about yet another hand (this Trump crowd is somewhat freakish): that Flynn's lies were not only many in number, but also, were material to an investigation of conspiracy against the USA.  He was a soldier and sold out his troops by working with the Russians, a hostile power.

    Flynn, once again, was among "the best people". A three-star Army general who ran intelligence, but did not know that we keep tabs on Russians around the clock.  Overall, not exactly a bright star in the military constellation. Trump was warned about him by Obama.

     Unless part of the redaction, the sentencing memo does not invoke national security issues, so Flynn may be safe from any Army sanctions, including a General Court-Martial, with a recall to active duty and possible dishonorable discharge, with stripping of rank, pension, an benefits.

    An Army investigation may be a thing.   In any event, he should not be accorded the title of General.  Mister--- is probably more than deserved.

    See the cat? See the cradle? (1.25 / 4) (#6)
    by thomas rogan on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 08:34:26 PM EST
    Now Mueller knows all the facts, uncovered up.  Couldn't he have had Flynn plead guilty to a plea bargain of some actual crime instead of a perjury trap?  Or were all of Mueller's "shady" actual lobbying activities not illegal at all?  

    The charges (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 06:25:01 AM EST
    of perjury are what got him to flip. Now he's spilled the beans and told everything he knows. I guess Mueller sees the deal with Flynn being worth it because he's going to be able to nail some long time criminals like Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone.

    Funny stuff (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 08, 2018 at 11:13:53 AM EST
    Flynn was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense and avoid other charges as part of his cooperation deal.  I understand why that upsets the Trumpers, but the "actual crime"/"perjury trap" nonsense is getting old.  Although, I guess it's pretty much the only argument left at this point.

    Tick, tock ...


    Is the judge likely to follow Mueller's (none / 0) (#2)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 01:25:23 PM EST
    recommendation? How does it usually work in these kinds of situations?
    No matter how valuable the information Flynn provided, I would really like to see him do some jail time.

    Depends on the judge, of course. But (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 04:05:41 PM EST
    overall, based on general experience, I'd give him better than 85% odds of the judge going along with the recommendation.