Judge Sullivan to Michael Flynn: ‘Arguably, You Sold Your Country Out’

Michael Flynn (Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty)
Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn refused to withdraw his guilty plea in a pre-sentencing hearing in a federal district court in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, despite the appearance that the FBI had entrapped him.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan offered his view of the issues raised by Flynn’s defense team in their request for a light sentence, including the possibility of entrapment, the fact that the deputy director of the FBI had advised Flynn not to have counsel present when he was interviewed by the FBI, and that the agents who interviewed him later said that he did not appear to have lied.

Sullivan said: “I cannot recall any incident in which the court has accepted a plea of guilty from someone who maintained he was not guilty and I don’t intend to start today.”

According to reporter Ryan J. Reilly of HuffPost, Judge Sullivan asked Flynn whether he wished to challenge the unusual circumstances under which he was questioned by the FBI, or whether he wished to postpone sentencing, or to confer with his lawyers. Flynn declined and reiterated that he was guilty of the charge of lying to the FBI.

He said that he had been aware lying to the FBI was a crime — though he had not been advised as such by the agents. Flynn’s lawyer also denied that his client had been “entrapped by the FBI” when questioned by the judge.

Judge Sullivan noted, according to ABC News, that lying to the FBI — especially in the White House — was a “serious offense” and that Flynn had “sold out” the country. He even asked prosecutors whether Flynn should have been charged with treason, because he had been an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey while serving as National Security Advisor (though Flynn ended his work for Turkey in mid-November 2016; see update below).

Some observers had expected the judge to throw out the conviction, given the issues raised by Flynn’s defense team. But he may have wished to avoid prosecution on other charges, including the crime of failing to file as a foreign agent for Turkey, for which two of his business partners were indicted on Monday.

The prosecution noted those indictments and told the judge that Flynn would have been charged as well, had he not cooperated. The prosecution also noted that it was a possibility that Flynn would continue to cooperate with the Special Counsel.

Judge Sullivan said he would consider jail time, though prosecutors had asked him not to impose a jail term.

The court recessed for the morning without a sentence being handed down to Flynn.

Update: The judge took back his remarks on treason, noting that he had been mistaken about Flynn being an unregistered foreign agent while in the White House.

He delayed sentencing, scheduling a status hearing for March 13, 2019.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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