Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is set to be sentenced on Dec. 18, following months of delay after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials during the transition.
The move by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan comes a day after special counsel Robert Mueller’s team signaled that it was ready for Flynn to be sentenced after previously asking for delays, prompting speculation that the former top aide was still cooperating with the probe. Mueller’s team agreed to recommend a reduced prison sentence for Flynn if he cooperated with the investigation and also agreed to testify in any future criminal cases.
POLITICO previously reported that lying to the FBI carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, but defendants usually get less than the maximum. Sullivan, a Clinton-appointee, is not bound by Flynn’s plea agreement which signaled a sentence between zero and six months in custody.
Trump has said he fired Flynn because the retired Army general was not honest with Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But former FBI Director James Comey testified that Trump cleared the room after a meeting and with just the two of them left asked Comey to “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go” in regards to the bureau’s investigation of Flynn.