Flynn memo reveals part one of Mueller's Rosetta Stone

Late Tuesday evening, special counsel Robert Mueller revealed a ...

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 10:29 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 10:29 PM

Late Tuesday evening, special counsel Robert Mueller revealed a critical scrap of information about the cooperation of President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in Mueller's ongoing investigation. In customary fashion for the often-inscrutable Mueller, the revelation appeared in the form of Mueller's sentencing recommendation for Flynn -- an official court document, rather than a press release or news conference.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan is scheduled to sentence Flynn on December 18 on charges of lying to federal investigators, a crime that carries a potential maximum sentence of five years in federal prison under federal sentencing guidelines. The special counsel's heavily redacted document suggests that given Flynn's "substantial assistance" to the investigation -- including meeting for 19 interviews -- a sentence "at the low end of the sentencing guidelines" including one "that does not impose a term of incarceration -- is appropriate and warranted." While commenting on Flynn's extensive history of both military and public service to his country, the special counsel also delivered a backhanded slap, noting that given such a distinguished record, the general should have been "particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government."

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Investigations

James Comey

Law and legal system

Michael T. Flynn

Political Figures - US

Politics

Robert Mueller

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Sentencing

US federal government

White House

Federal judges, though not legally bound by a prosecutor's recommendations, usually follow them. The defense will submit sentencing recommendations to the court later in the week, so slap aside, overall, this is very good news for Michael Flynn.

It's also an important step toward Mueller's endgame with respect to witnesses cooperating with his probe. Mueller's sentencing recommendation is the first of an expected troika of sentencing documents scheduled to be filed this week pertaining to Flynn, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

Sentencing recommendations for former Trump campaign manager Manafort and personal counsel Cohen will likely be filed shortly. Together with the Flynn recommendation, we should view these documents as a legal Rosetta Stone enabling a more accurate translation and understanding of the contents of the final report Mr. Mueller is expected to issue at the conclusion of his investigation.

These sentencing recommendations will be a sound decoder of what's to come because they pertain to the three most prominent Trump advisers netted by the special prosecutor in the 18-month investigation, often referred to by the President as a "Witch Hunt" conducted by a conflicted special counsel heading a team of "Angry Democrat Thugs" prosecutors. (Mr. Mueller, who has been a lifelong Republican and former FBI director under presidents from both parties, was appointed by yet another Republican, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- after Republican Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any involvement in the probe given his active role in the Trump campaign.)

Flynn, who served as President Trump's national security adviser for less than a month and stands accused of making multiple false statements to Department of Justice entities about his discussions with then-Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, has been charged with filing false statements in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act in connection with work on behalf of the government of Turkey.

The Flynn controversy also garnered embarrassing headlines for the President when former FBI Director James Comey claimed that the President urged a non-committal Comey to "...see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go." Mr. Trump would later fire Comey. The President has denied Comey's claim, though Trump critics have argued that the firing of Comey was a criminal "obstruction of justice" by the new President.

Flynn remains a seminal figure in the Mueller investigation who had largely disappeared from public view since his resignation and subsequent indictment on these federal charges. Mueller's "Rosetta Stone" sentencing documents suggest that while Flynn was out of sight, he was actively providing valuable assistance to the special counsel in other unnamed investigations purposefully redacted from the court document. Most often such redactions occur to allow such investigations to continue in secrecy.

Mueller's warm endorsement of Flynn's cooperation should prove worrisome to the President and his lawyers, particularly in light of the redactions suggesting other secret investigations yet to be completed. The Flynn guilty plea and Mueller's recommendation of leniency suggests further that the investigation has established a clear Russian connection in addition to the widely-discussed Trump Tower meeting and other contacts with lower-level campaign officials. The redacted sentencing document undoubtedly contains other details about the purpose and implications of Flynn's cooperation in these investigations. All of this suggests that Mueller's probe is far from completion.

For the impatient, it would be wise to remember that it took over two decades to decipher the Rosetta Stone after its discovery in 1799. Mr. Mueller, on the other hand, has been investigating the Trump campaign's relationship with the Russians for only 18 months -- but will probably disclose a sizable outline of the scope and direction of his investigation in documents likely to be filed by Friday.

Terre Haute
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Robinson
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Indianapolis
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Rockville
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Casey
Overcast
38° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 33°
Brazil
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Marshall
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Rainy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 383687

Reported Deaths: 9792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1774655433
DuPage23099606
Lake20815511
Will18621427
Kane16903347
Winnebago10340180
St. Clair7993220
Madison7221154
McHenry6452121
Champaign617229
Unassigned4778270
Peoria462273
McLean420934
Rock Island407090
Sangamon406763
Kankakee342180
Macon316052
Kendall270430
Tazewell268756
LaSalle242663
DeKalb239942
Coles193539
Adams188820
Williamson188859
Boone187825
Clinton178926
Vermilion174110
Jackson154826
Whiteside146027
Knox131716
Randolph128315
Ogle12187
Effingham11834
Marion102819
Stephenson10187
Franklin9869
Grundy9777
Morgan93424
Monroe92530
Bureau91316
Jefferson90748
Henry8537
Christian82529
Macoupin81611
Union78725
McDonough77120
Lee7402
Shelby69112
Fayette68524
Douglas6849
Crawford6516
Livingston64610
Woodford63714
Montgomery61516
Logan5994
Saline5679
Fulton5271
Jo Daviess5127
Bond5079
Warren5068
Iroquois49519
Wayne48612
Jersey47521
Cass46311
Perry44716
Carroll41911
Moultrie4154
Johnson3620
Pike3586
Lawrence3368
Richland33516
Clay31413
Hancock3144
Clark31017
Washington3102
Mason3091
Greene29515
Cumberland2946
Mercer2706
White2704
De Witt2646
Jasper26410
Piatt2540
Pulaski2401
Wabash2285
Ford19814
Menard1861
Edgar15710
Marshall1573
Massac1552
Henderson1290
Hamilton1262
Alexander1241
Brown1110
Edwards1090
Gallatin1072
Scott1070
Putnam920
Schuyler901
Stark863
Calhoun660
Hardin540
Pope421
Out of IL50

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 164581

Reported Deaths: 4143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26055792
Lake14436358
St. Joseph9606168
Elkhart9271138
Allen8647231
Hamilton6400115
Vanderburgh617162
Tippecanoe396715
Porter347550
Hendricks3418134
Monroe335638
Johnson3286130
Delaware311575
Clark306263
Vigo275340
Madison250896
LaPorte239261
Cass229724
Warrick205065
Kosciusko201127
Floyd187468
Howard169466
Bartholomew147958
Marshall147428
Dubois146426
Wayne142031
Grant133539
Henry133030
Boone129150
Hancock124744
Noble122935
Jackson121018
Dearborn103128
Morgan100340
Lawrence96838
Gibson94412
Clinton92416
Daviess92334
Shelby90632
LaGrange82815
Knox81810
Harrison81024
Posey7767
Putnam77616
Fayette76719
DeKalb76011
Jasper6885
Miami6715
Steuben6608
Montgomery63122
White62316
Greene57838
Adams5607
Scott55413
Decatur52839
Ripley4838
Whitley4836
Clay4617
Sullivan45714
Wells45611
Huntington4455
Starke4438
Wabash4439
Orange42425
Spencer4176
Randolph39210
Jennings38713
Washington3873
Franklin38325
Fulton3785
Perry36914
Jefferson3655
Pike35718
Carroll34313
Jay3386
Fountain3293
Tipton28423
Vermillion2721
Parke2564
Rush2464
Blackford2394
Newton23711
Owen2151
Martin2050
Pulaski1783
Crawford1631
Brown1473
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1130
Switzerland980
Warren911
Unassigned0236