U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C., scheduled former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing on January 28.

Flynn “pleaded guilty two years ago to a single count of lying to investigators about his contact with the Russian ambassador.” He then decided to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

That all changed a year later after Flynn changed lawyers. He hired conservative lawyer and commentator Sidney Powell.

The court should have sentenced Flynn in December 2018, but Flynn’s attorneys argued for months that the FBI and Department of Justice tricked their client “into making false statements or that the Justice Department had pressured him into entering a guilty plea.”

Sullivan rejected the arguments:

Sullivan disagreed in a lengthy opinion Monday, saying Flynn’s attorneys had failed “to explain how most of the requested information that the government has not already provided to him is relevant and material to his underlying offense.”

He also rejected allegations that FBI agents who interviewed Flynn at the White House in January 2017 trapped him into making false statements or that the Justice Department had pressured him into entering a guilty plea. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations during the presidential transition period with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Flynn had earlier said in court that no one had forced him to plead guilty, something the judge noted in his opinion. Flynn was ousted from the White House weeks after the interview. Officials said he had misled them about his interactions with then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“And it is undisputed that Mr. Flynn not only made those false statements to the FBI agents, but he also made the same false statements to the Vice President and senior White House officials, who, in turn, repeated Mr. Flynn’s false statements to the American people on national television,” Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan wrote:

“Regardless of Mr. Flynn’s new theories, he pled guilty twice to the crime, and he fails to demonstrate that the disclosure of the requested information would have impacted his decision to plead guilty,” wrote Sullivan, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

“The Court summarily disposes of Mr. Flynn’s arguments that the FBI conducted an ambush interview for the purpose of trapping him into making false statements and that the government pressured him to enter a guilty plea,” Sullivan wrote. “The record proves otherwise.”

Sullivan also slammed Flynn’s lawyers, claiming one of the “legal briefs ‘lifted verbatim portions from a source without attribution’ and cited rules of professional conduct barring deceit and dishonesty.”

Flynn faces five years in prison at the most.

 

 
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