Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is ready to be sentenced, prosecutors and his defense team told a federal judge Monday. Flynn’s sentencing had been delayed four times since he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators last December.
The change, indicated in a court filing, suggests that Flynn’s cooperation with the Mueller investigation will end soon.
The legal teams have asked federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to set Flynn’s sentencing for the end of November, well after the midterm elections.
Until three days ago, Flynn was the highest-ranking Trump associate cooperating with the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections and its aftermath. On Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to two federal charges in DC District Court. He agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller as well.
Flynn cut a deal year, sidestepping additional, potentially more serious charges. Flynn admitted to lying about his communications with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential transition. He also said he had lied to the Justice Department in 2017 about doing consulting work for the Republic of Turkey, according to his court filings.
Though his plea avoided describing his work in the White House, Flynn is thought to be central to Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice in dealing with top Justice Department officials in the early days of his presidential administration, especially former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired. Comey testified before the Senate intelligence committee last year that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into Flynn during an Oval Office meeting not long after Flynn resigned as national security adviser.
Flynn was also expected to corroborate details for investigators about other Trump campaign officials’ interests in Russian policy pushes during the campaign and transition.
According to a statement filed in court, Flynn conducted several calls with senior officials on the Trump transition team about his discussions with then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak related to US sanctions of Russia.
Since December 1, 2017, Flynn was required to cooperate with Mueller’s office “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly,” including speaking to law enforcement officials about what he knows and testifying before any grand juries and trials if needed.
Manafort’s cooperation agreement follows similar terms on most items. Yet Flynn’s agreement with prosecutors appears to have a natural end with sentencing. Manafort’s cooperation obligations do not end once he’s sentenced, prosecutors said last week.