Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will appear for a court hearing on Tuesday regarding his sentencing, which represents his first court appearance since last December when he admitted to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition.
Last week, Flynn, the only former Trump associate to be charged in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, was ordered back in court along with prosecutors working for Robert Mueller, to work out details about his sentencing, CNN writes.
Both Flynn’s lawyers and Mueller’s team asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to delay sentencing for another two months and that a probation officer prepare a report on how Flynn’s background fits with federal sentencing guidelines. The judge didn’t accept their explanation.
Although it is unclear why this has been requested, conservative groups online have been promoting unsubstantiated claims that the case against Flynn was collapsing and that he might withdraw his guilty plea.
The crime that Flynn admitted to committing carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to federal guidelines. Sullivan, a federal court appointee of President Bill Clinton, will ultimately be the one who decides Flynn’s punishment.
Since pleading guilty seven months ago, Flynn has mostly remained silent and out of the spotlight. Flynn only broke his silence while campaigning for California congressional candidate Omar Navarro, saying: “I’m not here to complain about who has done me wrong, or how unfair I’ve been treated or how unfair the entire process has been.”
The hearing comes as several other Mueller-related cases are unfolding in the Washington area. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort faces federal trials in Virginia and Washington due to start in two weeks. And Mueller’s team is also wrangling in court with a Russian company that was indicted earlier this year for meddling in the U.S. election through social media.
George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign associate who pleaded guilty last year, is set to be sentenced September 7. Another member of Trump’s team, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty in February but his sentencing is yet to be scheduled.