Special counsel Robert Mueller told a federal court on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn should not go to jail, citing the “substantial assistance” he has given to the Russia investigation.
In a Tuesday court filing, Mueller said that Flynn’s numerous testimonies have given the special counsel’s office a roadmap for their Russia investigation and may have helped to encourage others to cooperate, and as a result, Flynn should be given a sentence that does not include jail time.
According to federal sentencing guidelines, Flynn should receive up to a six-month prison sentence.
“The offense level and guideline range, however, do not account for a downward departure pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines reflecting the defendants substantial assistance to the government, which the government has moved for contemporaneously,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote in a filing on Tuesday, referring to a motion that a prosecutor files in a case where a cooperating defendant rises to the level of “substantial assistance.”
The redacted memo pertaining to Flynn’s cooperation also adds that the extent of his assistance is yet to be “fully realized” as the investigations he has helped “are still ongoing,” but it does not indicate what other investigations Flynn has been providing assistance with. He has, nonetheless, been seen as an essential witness for special counsel Mueller and his probe into possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
Mueller’s office said in the filing that the former national security adviser assisted it “on a range of issues, including interactions between individuals in the Presidential Transition Team and Russia.”
Flynn’s early cooperation also helped investigators to better understand what happened during the campaign, CNN informs.
“His early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the first people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation,” the special counsel’s memo on Flynn noted. “Additionally, the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the (special counsel’s office) and cooperate.”