Michael Flynn arrives in court to be sentenced for lying to the FBI

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn arrived at court in Washington, DC, on Tuesday morning to learn whether he’ll be tossed behind bars for lying to the FBI.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 for providing false statements about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and has since been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The 60-year-old retired Army lieutenant general told investigators in January 2017 that he had not discussed US sanctions with Kislyak — when, in fact, he had, according to his plea agreement.

Under his deal with prosecutors, Flynn could face a sentence anywhere from zero to six months, though Mueller has asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to spare him from jail because of his military service and “substantial” cooperation.

Lawyers for Flynn have asked for one-year probation, minimal conditions of supervision and 200 hours of community service. They begged for leniency, saying he wasn’t warned before his meeting with FBI agents that it was a crime to lie to them.

“As General Flynn has frankly acknowledged in his own words, he recognizes that his actions were wrong and he accepts full responsibility for them,” his lawyers wrote in court documents filed ahead of sentencing.

During the 2017 meeting, agents asked Flynn if he had discouraged Kislyak — in late 2016, prior to Trump’s inauguration — from retaliating against the US for the Obama administration’s decision to boot Russian spies from the US.

“Not really. I don’t remember. It wasn’t, ‘Don’t do anything,’” Flynn responded, according to a memo made public for the first time Monday night.

But Flynn had really asked Kislyak to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed on Russia that same day,” and stave off a vote on a pending UN Security Council resolution on Israel, prosecutors said.

At the time, speculation flew that Flynn could be additionally charged under the Logan Act, a rarely used, centuries-old law that makes it a crime for private citizens “without authority” to interfere with foreign affairs.

He has pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements.

Flynn, a decorated 33-year military veteran, served as Trump’s first national security adviser for just 24 days before he was fired by the president for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russians.

He is, so far, the only member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime as part of Mueller’s wide-ranging probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Thirty-two people and three Russian firms have also been charged.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Trump sent his well wishes to Flynn in a tweet.

“Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign,” Trump wrote.

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