Mere days before Michael Flynn will be sentenced for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Judge Emmet Sullivan has requested records from a January 2017 interview.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI during an interview about contacts he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during the period of transition between election day 2016 and President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Flynn served as Trump’s national security advisor until his February 2017 resignation. He has proven cooperative over the course of 19 interviews earlier this year, according to an unidentified ABC News source. He is set to be sentenced on Tuesday, December 18. Prosecutors have recommended that he serve no prison time in light of his cooperation.
Trump tweeted his own explanation for the deal:
They gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated – the FBI said he didn’t lie and they overrode the FBI. They want to scare everybody into making up stories that are not true by catching them in the smallest of misstatements. Sad!……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
Last year, Trump said of Flynn, “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Veteran attorney Solomon Wisenberg believes the judge requested the records because he “was concerned by allegations made by Flynn’s defense lawyer that the FBI misled Flynn about what he thought was an informal meeting with the agents at the White House.” He told ABC “they’re not changing the admission that he was lying, but they are saying there are mitigating factors.”
“It’s reputation management,” Wisenberg speculated. “It’s his lawyer’s last chance to say there are mitigating circumstances.”