Dec 5, 2018, 1:49 PM ET

5 key moments from Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn

#

Robert Mueller, in a highly anticipated sentencing memo for President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, described in broad strokes the extent to which Michael Flynn’s cooperation aided the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling during the 2016 campaign.

Interested in Russia Investigation?

Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Many of the details of Flynn’s assistance have been redacted, but here are five key takeways:

Flynn will likely avoid prison

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period from Election Day 2016 to Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

One big question ahead of Flynn’s Dec. 18 sentencing date remains whether the former national security adviser will avoid prison

Two other cooperating witnesses in the Mueller probe – George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide; and Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch attorney – both pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators were sentenced to prison.

PHOTO: White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks at the White House in Washington, Feb. 1, 2017. Carlos Barria/Retuers
White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks at the White House in Washington, Feb. 1, 2017.

But Flynn could be well-positioned to avoid their fate.

“Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set forth, a sentence at the low end of the guideline range—including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration—is appropriate and warranted,” Mueller wrote Tuesday.

Mueller’s glowing review of Flynn’s cooperation may persuade U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to grant leniency in sentencing the three-star general. Under federal guidelines, Flynn’s crime carries a penalty of up to six months in prison.

What Flynn has told Mueller: ‘content and context’

Prior to Tuesday’s court filing, very little was publicly known about the extent and content of Flynn’s cooperation. But the special counsel revealed some key details about what information Flynn’s cooperation has yielded.

In his sentencing memo, Mueller wrote that Flynn “participated in 19 interviews with the [special counsel’s office] or attorneys from other Department of Justice offices,” the content of which notably included “firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials.”

“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the [special counsel’s office],” Mueller wrote Tuesday.

Mueller also wrote that Flynn provided documents and communications to back his oral testimony.

PHOTO: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington, June 21, 2017.Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington, June 21, 2017.

Mysterious transition team officials

In mentioning that his investigation focuses in part on "interactions between individuals in the Presidential Transition Team and Russia,” then stating that Flynn described “interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials,” Mueller left observers wondering who those other transition team officials could be.

The transition team, which helped prepare Trump for the presidency after his election victory, included members of the Trump family and some of the president’s closest advisers and confidants.

Investigations are ‘ongoing’

Mueller is in the process of writing a final report, ABC News has reported, but many of the investigations and prosecutions his team has initiated don’t appear anywhere near completion.

PHOTO: President-elect Donald Trump stands with Trump National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
President-elect Donald Trump stands with Trump National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016.

Mueller wrote Tuesday that many of the investigations “in which [Flynn] has provided assistance are ongoing.”

The subject of those investigations remains unclear, but one thing is for sure: the implications of the special counsel probe are not going away anytime soon.

We don’t know what we don’t know

Of the 13 pages Mueller penned and filed late Tuesday, almost half was redacted.

The special counsel may reveal more information about the content of Flynn’s cooperation at his Dec. 18 sentencing, or he may wait until completing his final report.

But it is not a foregone conclusion that Mueller’s report will be public, as ABC News has reported, and we may never know the full details of Flynn’s cooperation.

News - 5 key moments from Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • GarfieldRocks

    Angry tweets about Cohens cooperation with Mueller are endless. Flynn made 19 trips in cooperation with Mueller and not a tweet from Donald. Why is that?

  • steene hargis

    Do you think that National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn might know a few things about the Clinton foundation corruption and THEIR criminal dealings with Russia? My guess is that Mr. Mueller is looking into all that now, especially as he sees that the tide has turned and is about to carry him quickly out to sea with no life jacket. Mueller is literally up a creek with no paddle except to actually investigatre the real crimes and the REAL criminals.

  • FlorMedDoc

    Mueller is getting close to wrapping this up with quite a few more indictments on the way . Trump and his family should be very worried

  • think before you type

    Insightful, no spin, well written article without the distorted attention grabbing headline.

    Well done, please they should all be like this

  • Life's a River

    Flynn's testimony regarding his coordination with the Russians during the election campaign may well be the "smoking gun" that we have been waiting for in regards to "collusion" charges. Considering that Mueller is calling for "no jail time", that sounds like his testimony was extremely valuable. Keep your fingers crossed!

  • DCClark

    If you think its normal to have the entire White House staff Lawyer up over "Fake News" you are some kind of stupid

  • MauiOhana808

    The 5 key moments from Robert Mueller's sentencing memo for Michael Flynn:
    1. donnie's
    2. goose
    3. is
    4. cooked!
    5. and he knows it!!!!
    MAKE AMERICA HAPPY AGAIN!!!!!
    Thank you Special Prosecutor Mueller, the Grand jury and the SDNY prosecutor's office!
    Aloha :^D

  • DCClark

    If Mueller said the information Flynn gave was substantial you better believe it was substantial...this man dont play with words like that..and it wont find him tweeting about it either

  • moderatescott

    Frump is tucked.

  • Army Brat

    19 interviews with prosecutors over 100 hours . Mueller offers no jail time

    Trump , Don Jr and Jared should be very worried as their days are numbered

  • Joel Croft

    More "seeming" than "being" in Mueller's work!

  • Aimee

    Flynn should be stripped of his rank.

  • Manuel Hernandez

    There are no details here at all. This is similar to what has already been reported. It would be nice if we waited to make an additional report here when we actually have additional concrete information, even if just plain gossip, which would even be nice. There is really nothing here at all.

  • Solanum

    Pence is complicit & likely to be charged as well, Sean/jxjxjjf/coward-self-deleter.

    Maybe you should practice saying "President Pelosi".

  • Ctrygrl

    Mueller said just enough to worry the administration and maybe start a stampede of people coming to cooperate if they see Flynn walk.

  • Bluejay

    Let's not forget who was in charge of the transition team. In the very beginning, Christie, and the, Jesus Ghost Pence! If there was something going on during that time, surely one or both was involved.

    And a VP can be indicted. Jesus won't save him!

  • Army Brat

    Great to see the racist cowards posts disappear within seconds

  • Army Brat

    Speaking of blobs
    \/\/ racist idiotic coward

  • Army Brat

    The orange blob must be wetting his depends as Mueller closes in

  • Gulffisher

    Mueller will most certainly win accolades and awards from many organizations for ending Trumps felonious behavior

  • Gulffisher

    I wonder what Pelosi is doing today . Probably making a list of the republicans that will be subpoenaed

  • Jackee

    LOL.. i see 'brad' still has his underoos in a wad

  • Gulffisher

    Trumpkins enjoy: this is but the beginning of a long list of felonies you and your cohorts will be charged with

    Schiff will begin the investigations this January

    Lordy , Lordy I hope these republicans have expensive lawyers

  • Matt

    it's going to eventually end for Donald Trump sooner or later, but for all our good it should be sooner.

  • Matt

    I agree, nothing would change under Pence a president under investigation and scandal.

  • stamped human bacon

    Too bad. It would serve some kind of karmic justice to see the "lock her up!" schmuck locked up himself... even if only for a little while.

  • Matt

    Mike Pence knew what Mike Flynn was into....fyi brad

  • WhosVoice

    Hold on to your hats folks. Today is D5. When Trump & Qanon arrest everyone in the Deep State. They are all at GHW Bush's funeral so they are all in one place. TODAY TRUMP ELIMINATES THE DEEP STATE!

    😂😂😂

    JK Q is hog wash.

  • Matt

    Mike Pence hired Mike Flynn....

  • Shakuntala

    I can't even count how many of Trump's staff have been indicted for criminal activity.

  • Sir Real

    Forecasters are predicting a 9.8 Trump Pucker Factor.

  • steven walls

    Doesn't everyone love surprises?

  • Eric Janssen

    What Flynn has told Mueller: ‘content and context’
    Or, in layman's terms, What and Why.