Michael Flynn, Witness for the Prosecution

The special counsel says President Trump’s former national security adviser has provided “substantial assistance” and deserves a light sentence.

Comments: 244

  1. The secondary headline reads that Mr. Flynn "has provided 'substantial assistance' and deserves a light sentence." If Mr. Flynn gets a light sentence for help he's provided the Mueller investigation, that fine. But whether he "deserves" to receive little or no prison time is something else. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen all richly deserve to pay for their crimes.

  2. @jrinsc Let's not forget that Spanky deserves to pay for his crimes too, "bigly".

  3. If irony were a crime the man who started the "Lock her up" chant would do some serious time regardless of his assistance.

  4. @Rick Gage Give him a light sentence only if Trump goes out in handcuffs and that isn't happening yet. So lock him up.

  5. As I said in a comment for another article about Flynn, this is one thing I disagree strongly with about our justice department. Flynn committed treason. Who cares how quickly he cooperated with prosecutors? Who cares how "sorry' he is? He helped try to destroy democracy in OUR United States of America. The only reason Mr. Flynn deserves no prison time is if he was actually a plant, acting in behalf of OUR intelligence services. Maybe. Stranger things have happened.

  6. @njglea I too think it possibility that Flynn was working both sides fence, perhaps as a plant, but whatever the case, this guy was in a good position to help Mueller with all manner of stuff. Always more than meets the eye, and for the moment I am not going to consider Flynn the wicked traitor he appeared to be. I am easy to fool, but Mueller and his A-Team aren't. Thank heavens.

  7. During the early phases of the special counsel investigation we received an education about the differences between being a "person of interest" vs. a "subject of investigation" vs. a "target of investigation." I recall then that Trump and his people kept saying he wasn't a "target." Maybe it's just me but it seems over the past few months they stopped saying that. Hmmm.

  8. So, members of the Editorial Board, what do you really think about Mr Mueller's recommendation and, therefore, the likelihood that F Gen Flynn will serve little if any time incarcerated for misdeeds you describe as serious?

  9. Seems to me the Mueller message to the rest of the Trump collusion team is "tell the truth about the dotard and the sentence will be light". While this may encourage others to come forward about Trump's crimes, one has to wonder if it is fair. When you do the crime, you should to the time.

  10. Michael Flynn appears to have earned the right kind of pardon for providing "'substantial assistance'" in multiple investigations related to whether or not the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to win the 2016 election. The contrast to the "abuse of power" pardons that Donald Trump has signaled to Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and others in a blatant attempt to "obstruct justice" is striking. Let's hope that Flynn along with Michael Cohen have provided the Special Counsel with sufficient information to prove conclusively if the Russian conspiracy to subvert our democratic election was aided and abetted by Donald Trump, Manafort, Stone and others.

  11. I just want Hillary to tweet, "Lock him up!" Just once. Please.

  12. @Taxpayer She could also tweet, "So glad that our democracy has due process." LOL

  13. Me too. But she’s got way too much class for that.

  14. @Terri She’s waiting for Trump’s indictment and impeachment.

  15. Surprisingly, this editorial fails to mention another obvious reason that Flynn chose to cooperate: His son, Michael Jr., who served as Flynn's chief of staff and was also involved in his father's business dealings, is also under investigation and this was in all likelihood high motivation for Flynn Sr. to cooperate. One would surmise that Flynn has negotiated leniency for Junior as well. https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/politics/michael-flynn-son-special-counsel-russia-investigation/index.html

  16. So by cooperating fully and early, I suppose that allows Flynn and Cohen to hold onto their book advances....

  17. Flynn was part of the treason committed by Trump and all of his enablers at the behest of Vladimir Putin. Putin calls the shots but apparently has no direct power over Mueller, aside from his control of the U.S. Justice Department and the Supreme Court of the United States. Because it is all but certain that Trump will pardon himself and his family, Mueller must hand down actual indictments so that we, the powerless people of the United States, know the exact crimes for which is pardoning himself. One of those crimes should be treason, the most obvious of them all.

  18. @Big Text . mueller is laying siege to trump. there will . be no way he will get out of treason, because thats what it will come down to. even McConnell will step back.

  19. @Big Text Your phrase, we the powerless people of the United States, disquieted me in a visceral manner. Sad and true and so very unfortunate for us, the 99%. And yet we swallow it every day, voicing our not-so-puny opinions here. Thank-you NYTimes for this platform. Thank-you Big Text for your stark reminder of our reality.

  20. Flynn stained the uniform it was his priviledge to wear. Whatever compelled him to seek out and cling to a person of trump's caliber is beyond me. And all for what? Money? Power? Prestige? Revenge? Maybe his cooperating with the Mueller team has earned him no jail time. But his cooperating with Putin over the best interests of our country should bar him from any veterans benefits his rank would have otherwise entitled him to. He is and will remain a disgrace.

  21. why has most of the republican party hitched its wagon to the Trump?

  22. @KEM-Indeed. Flynn was an early supporter of Trump.

  23. Agreed. I don’t understand why ANYONE of decent reputation would get involved with Trump. The Republican in the Senate and the House could have easily bent Trump to their will the last two years. Now they’re all complicit and defamed. History will not treat them kindly. It’s no accident that the people Trump attracts are sleazeballs, grifters, conmen, and criminals. To the man. It’s unbelievable.

  24. It's very interesting and the leniency and appreciation of Flynn is remarkable. I wondered about Flynn's rapid flipping and now after this sentencing memo, showing a couple of different investigations, the many ways Flynn could help Mueller. Flynn was a veteran of Military Intelligence and headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (!) the guy would be privy to all sorts of stuff and the particulars of counter-intelligence or espionage operations. Flynn claimed to know that his conversations with Kislyak were recorded. And what about his son forwarding Pizza Gate stuff and absolutely knowing it was false? And the younger is still busy criticizing the Mueller investigation. Father and Son had their very own "security and intelligence" firm. Leaked emails from Colin Powell make it clear that Flynn was considered a Right-wing wacko. And Obama fired him on apparently these premises too. Maybe Flynn was playing both ends to the middle, acting as double agent in some capacity? The cloak and dagger stuff is often real. But whatever, it is appropriate that Mueller show absolute respect for the Military, not only because he IS that way, but also to reassure others in the Military that they will get a fair shake. I hope that someday we can learn all the details, and particularly this one where initially Flynn, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be a traitor of the first rank. Not good to jump to conclusions!

  25. @Nelly Interesting. There were reports of a mole in the Trump campaign some time back. Also, the Kremlin executed an intelligence operation that infiltrated the highest levels of US government. Does anyone actually believe this would have escaped detection by our own intel agencies? Not me. In fact, I'm pretty sure they've been on top of it from the beginning.

  26. @Vickie I agree. National Security, on these levels, is carried forth by incredibly intelligent and astute people. Lots of time we many wonder at knuckleheads like Pompeo, but the body and soul of these agencies are NOT knuckleheaded at all. For Flynn to metamorphize from dirty rat treasonous vermin, to ultra helpful witness, and perhaps even "hero" status, eventually, requires a bit of digesting. We shall see. Maybe!

  27. Would a woman or POC get such a "light sentence"? Or avoid prison altogether? One doubts it. Time to hold wrongdoers accountable.

  28. I hope his plea agreement prohibits him from chanting "lock her up" to angry, ill-informed crowds. And to think, our generals are supposed to be such straight arrows. A little late now, but I'll bet if you asked General Flynn what, exactly Hillary had done that could lead to imprisonment, he wouldn't have an answer.

  29. @JR You could ask the same question of Trump. The fool wouldn't have the slightest idea

  30. My fellow defense lawyers and I have had several defendants cooperate early and to the best of their ability, including coopearting with undercover operations. To get a “homerun” of no time upon sentencing requires giving the US Attorney a homerun in present and future prosecutions. The fact that the sentencing memorandum was redacted could suggest that Mueller is expecting to run up the score with several more homeruns.

  31. @Ben are you really a defense lawyer? Would you have your client plead guilty to a crime that several of the investigators had already said didn't happen? Mueller could never have gotten a conviction on that garbage. All he could do was keep racking up legal bills for Flynn. That's the difference between prosecution and persecution.

  32. @Randall Bachmann I believe anyone would have rolled over when a powerful government agency gets you in its sights and bankrupts you to the point you lose your home, destroys your career, and threatens to do the same to your children. The crime was the leaking of Flynn's conversations with Kislyak and the unmasking of Flynn's name, a blatant felony by an unnamed official in the Obama administration.

  33. @Ben I've heard this from several prosecutors. CNN just said, the panel including a Watergate prosecutor, he believes it could be Don Jr. and even Jared Kuchner??

  34. Regarding the seriousness of Michael Flynn's crimes and the intensity of Trump's reaction to his prosecution, I'd say that Flynn delivered the motherload to the special prosecutor. Flynn was in the middle of all of it. Since Flynn was in on the beginning of the "Trump Experience", he may not know all that transpired. But he very well could have provided foundational information that Mr. Mueller used to connect the dots and weave his web around other criminal acts. Flynn could very well have provided the why and wherefore without knowing the who and the how. Since this thing is dragging on, I'd say that is what is most likely happening. Trump is getting more aggressive all the time about the investigation and innocent people don't do that. Trump's constant lashing out goes a lot farther than a good defence starts with a good offense. Trump is acting like he has been cornered. Michael Cohen feels abandoned and he is doing anything he can to save his hide. Add what he has submitted to what Flynn has provided and we may have some solid corroborating evidence. Stone and Manafort will go down with the ship and wait for their pardons. I hope Trump does pardon them. Then we have him for witness tampering and obstruction. Trump may have the legal power to pardon but he doesn't have the legal right to circumvent justice. This is getting really interesting really fast.

  35. @Bruce Rozenblit. Trump deserves jail time. "Lock him up". Let us as a country not make the same mistake as in Watergate in 1974, where Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon. I believe this allowed a repeat of violations. This time, follow the law. Put Trump and his lackeys in jail. If future candidates know they will do jail time if they cheat, they will not cheat.

  36. Flynn knows where all of Trump's secret business deals are buried. Is that enough to get him probation? This scandal is once again showing the unfair justice system in America, white collar and political felons get two weeks at club Fed while street criminals get 5 to 10 in a real prison.

  37. This is bigger than Flynn or even Trump, because it includes Putin, and his crimes against his own people. Many are unaware Trump hired folk who were already under federal investigation for serious crimes with Russia. This is a RICO investigation of great significance, probably the most important in the history of the DoJ. Its reach is international, and may be the route to Putin.

  38. @George Kamburoff RICO case? I sure hope so. That could envelope a lot of bad actors.

  39. Mueller is so humiliated by what he did to this man that he was too embarrassed to recommend jail. Why bother he already disgraced and destroyed Flynn for nothing !

  40. @Tom ,Retired Florida Junkman doesn't sound like you've retired?

  41. @Tom ,Retired Florida Junkman Nice handle. Very apropos.

  42. @Tom ,Retired Florida Junkman - This is the funniest thing I've read in weeks.

  43. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Sentencing guidelines for someone like Mr. Flynn with no criminal history call for up to six months in prison on a charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but others who pleaded guilty to the same crime in the Mueller probe have received one month or less.” George Papadopoulos got a 14-day sentence. The sentences are short because the offenses were minor. Flynn and Papadopoulos appear to have lied to spare the Trump administration bad publicity, not to obstruct justice or cover up crimes. When Trump fired Flynn, Flynn said “I have my own story to tell.” But people should not assume that the criminal investigation Flynn helped the Special Counsel with involves the Trump campaign or Trump administration. So far, none of the indictments Mueller has obtained are for unlawful collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The criminal investigation might involve lobbying work that Flynn did for the Turkish government. Flynn also spent more time in the Obama administration than in the Trump administration.

  44. @William Case And look at the Martha Stewart case. Months in prison for a foolish lie about a minor insider trading case.

  45. @Alan D Martha Stewart was convicted of insider trading, not lying about it. In addition, she lied to cover up the crime. Papadopoulos and Flynn didn't lie to cover up an underlying crime. They committed no crime except lying to the FBI. Insider trading isn't a minor crime.

  46. There is nothing that convinces me that Flynn is no longer a danger to our society, and to the world, so the only justification for letting him wander freely among us is to protect us from a much greater danger. Should that protection not materialize, then freeing Flynn is a grave mistake.

  47. I'd be happy if he is sentenced to lead cheers of "Lock them up" outside the many busy courthouses in the coming 2 years.

  48. If I recall, the Obama White House warned Trump not to hire Flynn, who blotted his copybook working for them. One could readily forgive Obama for a certain amount of schadenfreude if Flynn proves the undoing of the Trump presidency.

  49. @RhettsHeir. That’s right! I had almost forgotten. One also has to wonder if firing Sally Yates when she reported Flynn’s compromised status won’t go down as one of dRump’s first acts of obstruction of justice.

  50. Did Flynn want to get caught? Speaking to Russians when he must have known they were monitored is an act of hubris or tempting fate. In an era of dangling Trump pardons, at least Flynn somewhat redeemed himself. His vitriolic shouting "Lock her up!" at the Republican National Convention actually shocked me. I was still expecting Republicans to exhibit civility and decency, so evident in prior GOP leaders such as George H. W. Bush. Yet Flynn would have known the costs of treason more than most. His standing ovation for Putin at the Moscow dinner was chilling. What happened to this man and others in the Trump orbit? Did they forget all sense of honor, service, and patriotism? Did greed and power eclipse truer American values? Was this simple corruption? Somehow Mr. Mueller was able to pull him back on the straight and narrow path, or to remind him of his own past service to the country, and Flynn cooperated. That is a valuable contribution. I cannot fathom Trump, his supporters, or Republican politicians these days. With their attacks on the FBI and intelligence agencies, their voter suppression, etc., they seem to be having a permanent Opposite Day in rejecting the great principles of American democracy including that all are created equal, or Lincoln's haunting promise: "... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

  51. @smb We have a toxic cocktail of greed, amorality, narcissism, and totalitarianism, combined with simple greed and political expediency- what a mess!

  52. In Putins Russia, Mr. Flynn would, long ago, have had an unfortunate accident - falling from a twelve story window, a car accident, a fatal heart attack, an airplane crash, or a polonium cocktail served to him with his tea. And make no mistake about it - these are the stakes we are playing, right now, here in the USA, with the preservation or loss of laws, law enforcement, courts, and justice. If we lose those, we will all be under the fascist rule of Putins version of America.

  53. Those disappointed with the lenient sentence, bear in mind; The Mueller investigation is being undercut by a president willing to use his pardoning power to obstruct justice. Therefore it is essential that Mueller reward those who do cooperate. Think of the no-jail-time sentence as parity.

  54. Papadopoulos is a lying nobody. His greatest contribution was leaking information to foreign intelligence agencies while drunk. Manafort is a lying double cross. He must have bigger problems than spending the rest of his life in prison. Stone is openly combative. Corsi isn't far behind. Their's will be a true test of wisdom in resistance. Treating Flynn with leniency though makes perfect sense even if he didn't deliver the home run everyone expects. The Special Counsel is wise to reward good faith efforts. Working with Flynn was probably relatively easy too. Flynn is familiar with military intelligence and how government institutions function. He understands how to cooperate with Mueller. I'm mostly curious to see how Mueller treats Cohen. Cohen is a man who operated in Trump's orbit for decades. Now, at least in theory, he's laid everything on the table. What is that going to look like? Will we see that same "substantial assistance" modifier or not? I wonder.

  55. I'm completely okay with Flynn getting off light, as long as the sentencing leniency isn't the kind that Acosta gave Jeff Epstein! And I still can't shake the feeling that Trump is going to get off "scot-free" from all this, despite being an obviously compromised and criminal traitor.

  56. @Brannon Perkison The only chance of bringing Trump and his co-conspirators to justice is after he leaves office. In January 2021 (or sooner, if we are lucky) Trump (and others) must be indicted for one or more of many crimes. Then there will be no issue of indicting a sitting president, no gross abuse of pardon power, and maybe the Republican Party will rid itself of his cult followers.

  57. God only knows why Flynn stupidly decided to lie to the FBI to protect what he evidently thought at the time were Trump's and his own best interests. But it seems he has made a correction that the sorry likes of Manafort can't or won't make, and I have to believe that Mueller's request for light sentencing for him will turn out to be just when the dust finally settles. If not it would call into question the integrity of the whole inquiry, and that doesn't seem to be Mueller's style. We will have our questions answered soon enough.

  58. Mueller and the Special Counsel may have agreed to leniency at the beginning of their discussions with Flynn in order to set up a scenario where, if Trump tried to dangle a pardon in front of Mr. Flynn, Mr. Flynn would not accept it. I imagine Mr. Flynn got quite an earful from members of the Military and the Justice Department about how he disgraced his country and the military with his treasonous actions, along with the suggestion that, to redeem himself, he spill it all. Along with that, Flynn gets little or no jail time and they are easy on his son. Consequently, there is not much Trump can do to shut Flynn up — a pardon is useless to a man who wants to redeem himself to his military buddies.

  59. @Morningstar Nice scenario, but looking at the guy yelling "Lock her up!" - I seriously doubt that Flynn thinks he really did anything wrong.

  60. I get the leniency for one or two counts of lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation deal. That falls under the category of "covering up" ones's crimes. How come the question of the liabilities for the actual crimes is not discussed in the media? Like, is it OK to try and make a secret deal with Russians about the lifting of sanctions, to lie to White House staff, etc.? In other words, does exoneration for a cover-up prevent or have any other influence on any separate indictments for the crimes themselves?

  61. A man with a long and distinguished military career is rewarded for telling the truth and co-operating with the Special Prosecutor. This was Flynn’s duty. It should not score brownie points. In Trump’s America truth is not an obligation. It is a commodity that is purchased.Just another transaction in the Trump world.

  62. I am nearing the "put up or shut up" portion of my tolerance towards Mr. Mueller. Disclaimer: I have long beheld Robert Mueller as the fantasy savior who is coming to rid of us of Trump and his parasitic infection of a family. Every despairing thought I have since Trump has had the same silver Mueller-shaped liner. At night, I don't count sheep: I count Muellers. I imagine the Trump family being taken out with handcuffs. I fantasize about the restoration of morality, of sanity. I imagine a recommitment to our ideals: an improved America with a bipartisan team that includes anyone from Mueller himself, to Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Adam Schiff, Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg--anyone who has ever successfully paraded the appearance of a moral coda. I do my part! I read every word reported in the Times and in the Washington Post. I am on a first name basis with Rachel Maddow. I occasionally rebut the butt-heads over at Fox. I vote blue. I teach my kids civics lessons and expound of the benefits of democracy, evidence aside. ....and I am running out of oxygen. I don't want to hear about these paltry sentences for the likes of Flynn, or Cohen, or Pappa-whatever-his-name. I just want to know: Does Mueller has the goods on Trump and his merry band of traitors? Will the GOP continue to protect him? How rotten is the wood beneath the veneer? That is what I am waiting to find out. Let's move on with it already.

  63. @GWE The fact that this investigation is proceeding as slowly and methodically as it is shows if anything, just how intricately involved the matters are and the extent to which those who are involved are willing to cover it all up. You may be running out of oxygen -- but most Americans find it's well worth the wait.

  64. And the evidence has to be ironclad. Even then a significant number of people will never accept it.

  65. @GWE When you compare to Watergate, Iran-Contra and other special prosecutions, this one is a blitzkrieg and delivering lots of goods in record time.

  66. Mueller: "Mr. Flynn, you may very well get pardoned by the President if you refuse to cooperate, but we also have drawers full of incriminating evidence on your son, and we might not get around to pursuing that case for...oh....say, four years." (pregant pause) Flynn: "Ok, what do you want to know?"

  67. Where did you get this piece of misinformation? Breitbart's website?

  68. @Glenn Thomas :That's how all prosecutors work. They extort info with threats.

  69. @David Rea Yes David Rea! Wait 'till Trump is gone to go after the son. Would Michael Flynn stand to see his son get twenty years?

  70. General Flynn seems to have been assiduous mostly in trying to earn as much money as possible in the shortest time after retiring from the army. The article doesn't mention that he was also involved in plotting to kidnap a US resident Fethullah Gulen (according to the WSJ) and repatriate him to Turkey where he would almost certainly have been executed. I wouldn't give him too much credit for testifying and "helping" the Mueller investigation. He was basically saving his neck. If prosecuted for the Gulen affair he could have gone to prison for the rest of his life

  71. @ian stuart He still could be charged, he is not getting immunity, he is just not being charged by Mueller...

  72. @Steve I would have thought that kidnapping was a Federal crime? In which case he probably wouldn't be prosecuted

  73. Flynn was fired by Trump because he had lied to Pence about his prior ties to Russia. What if Flynn didn't lie and Pence knew about his involvement with Russia? Just asking....

  74. @CindyK Say hello to President Pelosi.

  75. CindyK, That was just a story concocted by the Trump administration. In late January, 2017, acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned Don McGahn that Michael Flynn was compromised and in danger of being blackmailed by a foreign government. Flynn was not let go as Trump's national security advisor until 18 days later. And the only reason he was fired was that the press had discovered Yates' warning. There's a very good chance that Mike Pence knew what was going on. He was also in charge of Trump's transition team and should have vetted Flynn.

  76. @Blue in Green please god, let pence be dragged into this all, too

  77. After a lifetime of Military Service, Mr. Flynn was seduced by the limelight. Lifestyles of the Rich, Famous, obnoxious and utterly tacky. Give him a break, he deserves it. And I’m speaking as a proud Veteran, from a Family of Veterans. And cooperation means a lot, in this den of thieves and scoundrels. Seriously.

  78. The Trump administration was delighted to deny FBI official Mc Cabe his government earned pension . Perhaps Michael Flynn should get the same punishment for his treachery.

  79. @Frank Heneghan Bingo!

  80. I would like to see Flynn serve time. He's a convicted liar and con artist just like the idiot he was serving before he got fired. Working in this White House is like waking up every morning with severed horse's head next to you.

  81. This monster should be barred from any political or lobbying efforts ever again. He should not be allowed to speak at any event or on behalf of anyone ever again. He should also have any medals and titles taken from him, any pension (he could've been collecting a minimum of $237,000/year!), health insurance. And if he was planning on a military funeral and a plot in Arlington Cemetary, those should be taken away. He committed treason and mutiny. At the time he was in Russia Obama was president and his commander-in-chief. In any other time he would be court-martialled! He better deliver the goods that far exceed these benefits. And quite frankly, to me, that is nothing short of delivering all the Trumps on a silver platter (and throw in Pence for good measure, too!)

  82. @Barbara Franklin Well said. And I totally agree that Pence must go too. I believe he is being dishonest about knowing when Flynn lied.

  83. Ironic that when all is said and done, Trump's wish to let Flynn off the hook may come true.

  84. There are no Trump pardons in the works. Only a fool would believe otherwise. Trump looks after one person and that's Trump. If you want a fair deal you have to sit down with Mueller. That is, If it's not already too late. As much as it pains me to see Michael "Lock Her Up!" Flynn escape jail time, it's evident that his plea deal was instrumental in getting others to cooperate with Mueller early on. It also appears that he has provided a lot of valuable information regarding as many as three separate investigations. We'll see.

  85. @Vickie YOu're right about Trump's scope of interest. That being said, he will pardon someone if he believes it will benefit him.

  86. Flynn was guilty of his personal hubris, loyalty to a candidate over country and inability to understand the problems with these characteristics. I'm sure he regrets it now. Poor baby. Personal integrity in a high level officer or government official isn't optional, despite what our current President may hold to.

  87. The reason that "that “flipping” to testify against others should be illegal", as Trump has argued, is not because there is something wrong with telling prosecutors about criminal activity. Rather its because the US is the only country that uses the English Common Law legal system that decides to prosecute people not because the severity of their crimes requires they be held to account for them, but for the sole reason that they can be forced to help with another investigation. A government that decides to prosecute people purely because it serves the ulterior motives of the government, is not one which is a rule of law society. And the same is even more true where whether or not people go to prison is not based on the crimes they commited, but over whether they were able to curry favor with the prosecutors. And this is because the crimes in question are not the types of crimes that cannot be tolerated, such as grand larceny or fraud let alone robbery or aggravated assault. These are crimes because they are violations of the massive, all encompassing and complex US Code. A set of laws that tens of millions of Americans violate and were it enforced to the full extent of the law tens of millions of decent people would be in prison. In the rest of the world only the most egregious offenders are deemed to be deserving of prosecution. But here in the US, they prosecute people purely because they want to "flip" them. And this is a disgusting abuse of power.

  88. @Michael Stavsen Prosecuting someone "purely" in order to flip that person implies that the person is innocent of any crime...or at least that there's no case against that person. That's not the story. In this country you can only threaten to prosecute someone against whom you have a case, at least on paper. Of course innocent people are prosecuted all the time. But the idea, anyway, is that you have to have a case against him/her.

  89. I must say, I admire the pretzel logic of anybody who can base a phony claim about cooperation and sentencing on the notion that this is the only country using, “English common law,” given that last I checked, America isn’t England.

  90. @Robert The legal system used here in the US is English common law, a system which is also used by the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However the US is unique in that prosecutors can allow they want to be above the law, such as Flynn who will do no time even though he commited a crime because he helped the prosecutor, so the prosecutor helped him in return.

  91. If Flynn has earned a break by co-operating fully and providing critical information, regardless of my opinion of his politics and prior ethics, I say let him have his break. I for one would very much appreciate it if the Times would put together a comprehensive page showing all of Mueller's court filings, with both a timeline and some degree of expert analysis by a seasoned prosecutor.

  92. @Victorious Yankee I did see that article, and it does have links to links. I was hoping for something that actually put all of the indictments in one place.

  93. We all wait on tenterhooks to see how this will all play out in the coming weeks and months. The lieutenant general has forever besmirched his sworn duty and honor to his country to place it in dishonorable subordination in service to Donald Trump, a man never acquainted with either service or truth. But rather than drag his tattered reputation further through the muck and mire of ambition to serve himself, his leniency finds approval in this humble space. For without General Flynn’s cooperation with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, how far down the road might we as a country be—or not—in uncovering what most now widely believe is the criminal dependence of a presidential campaign for aid and comfort by a hostile foreign entity? For what is frightening is that our Cold War enemy, one whose premier (Nikita Khrushchev in 1956) threatened “We will bury you,” came close to—or wildly succeeded— in removing American control over (a) the American government and (b) our flawed but sacred processes of conducting our national affairs. Equally troubling is the greasy acquiescence of a military man whose service spanned 30 years to the blandishments of a man whose failure to serve his country in its hour of need is now one of the dishonorable bullet points in a resume checkered with the greedy impulses born of an uncommon selfishness. General Flynn cannot say he was ignorant if the character of the candidate-now-president whom he served with horrible distinction.

  94. "Mr. Flynn and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, discussed ways to undercut Obama administration policy in the Middle East and toward Russia" Um, to be precise, he went to the ambassador to ask the Russians to side with Israel when Obama was going to abstain from a vote condemning the settlements. The two countries that Trump is in bed with are the Saudis and Israel--specifically, Bone Saw and Netanyahu. Putin can only dream about the influence those two have on Trump. Good luck getting the media to acknowledge this.

  95. @Donald, Link please...

  96. Odd that today is Flynn's 60th birthday (although lordy he looks much older). Fired for being "abusive towards staff," among other things when serving in the military. His info for Mueller might be the highlight of his career.

  97. Flynn must have made beautiful music to Mueller. Did he sing an aria or an entire opera?

  98. This advise people that if your are poor and without power you get a different standard of justice versus those that are rich politician. It reconfirm that certain people are above the law. Also these people were given the public trust to undertake certain jobs.

  99. I never thought I'd find myself cheering Mike Flynn, but if a lighter jail sentence and promise of no heavy fine is what it takes for him to spill the beans on what he knows about Donald Trump's shady dealings, that's fine by me. Besides, he's one of the very few who actually had the spine enough to plead guilty to the charges against him -- and if it in any way helps to expedite the Mueller investigation, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  100. Michael Flynn's military service must also have been a factor in the special counsel's recommendation for little if any jail time. What a tragic character Flynn is.

  101. It's built into our justice system to lessen the severity of time sentenced and or served in jail if one cooperates. Having said this it seems to me that those who commit white collar crimes and those who are wealthy usually get a slap on the wrist and are back in "business" in no time. I wish for once, that those who commit these crimes would face the harshest penalties and jail time. Perhaps if they were held accountable others might think twice about pulling off these crimes in the future. The fact that the likes of Trump, Manafort, and Stone are mocking Mueller, the legal system, and the average American citizen is proof enough for me that they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent the law allows. They laugh in our faces and dare us to do something about it as they go on with their lives unaffected by much of anything.

  102. Hypothesis: Mueller proves collusion between the convention and Russia based on Flynn's testimony. Additionally, there was quid pro quo, maybe reduced Russian sanctions in return for release of the hacked emails. Now what? The Republican-dominated Senate for 2019 appears to support Trump, at least to the extent that 67 votes to convict Trump of impeachment are unlikely. In that scenario, could Trump lead the nation effectively? How would he be viewed in the world at large? Unfortunately, this is a very likely scenario. My presumption is that Trump will stay the course for two years, and by then the public will vote him and his supporters out of office by a mandate much larger than 2018's, I hope that his eventual successor will be able to repair most of his damage to democracy and to the office of the president that he has inflicted on the nation.

  103. @Harold: Trump is already viewed as a buffoon by the world at large. How much worse could it be?

  104. No need to angle for a pardon. Best to spill the beans and serve your country.

  105. The one person the president didn't want to flip now has done so. The one who knows everything about Russia and the Trump campaign. A cold blooded pro. 19 interviews? Uh oh. No wonder Trump looked so miserable at Bush's service today. The irony of it all. Lock HIM up!

  106. @Lou Good I think trump looked so miserable at Bush's service, because he wasn't getting any news coverage and former Pres Bush was.

  107. The universe has a crazy delayed symmetry in the Trump orbit. An example is Flynn leading the chant “Lock her up” but now he’s awaiting his own sentencing. I’m anticipating the day when Trump is found guilty of every wild allegation he ever tweeted about Hillary and Obama. What goes around, comes around.

  108. Flynn still could be charged with other crimes, he is not getting immunity, he is just not being charged by Mueller...

  109. @Steve Yeah, but it's the principle of the thing: an admitted felon gets a pass for ratting out other felons. That's bizarre justice. Pragmatic, I guess.

  110. The addendum to the sentencing memorandum has most of the significant detail blacked out. Camp Trump – or should that be Bunker Trump? – will be worrying about what that detail comprises.

  111. As a retired (reserve) military officer, I would like to see someone (Anyone?, Anyone?) subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice prefer charges against Flynn, citing Article 134: “Conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline . . .” Flynn is still subject to the Code. He does not deserve to hold the title, nor receive the benefits, of a general officer. Colonel, Retired, Not a Criminal

  112. @James D Ritchie-Indeed, he disgraced his uniform and his behavior was even noted in Russian-issued intelligence that ended up in the Steele Dossier.

  113. @James D Ritchie I agree totally ... BT1 USN ret

  114. Flynn seemed to be the key Russian connection, the Manchurian candidate if you will. As NSC director, he would have been the pro-Russia advocate at the center of national security policy, involved in all decisions. Those early investigations by Comey, and then Flynn's lying to Pence, fortunately damaged this critical link before it ever got going. "No collusion?" Maybe so, but only after Flynn was taken out. Otherwise collusion would have been daily and on-going. We have Comey to thank for this one.

  115. @lennyg Overall, I agree with you. But do you really believe that baloney that he was fired for lying to Pence? That was the excuse used to justify Flynn as the sacrifice in the hope that the news attention would die down on the Russian connection.

  116. A light sentence, like 2.5 - 5 years would be nice.

  117. Michael Flynn was a US Army Lieutenant General. He led our troops into battle against the enemy. No sooner had he left office, however, he began to make outreaches to our enemies for personal gain. He stood on a stage at the Republican National Convention and goaded the audience to shout “lock her up” – referring, not to an enemy of the US, but to a former American Secretary Of State. Have you got no shame, Mr. Flynn? Good that you helped Mueller and good for you that you’ll get a reduced sentence but please think about all this and consider a reset. Start by issuing a clear and unequivocal apology to the American public who put their trust in you.

  118. @Mike Edwards You could repeat it again about the Republican Party.

  119. How does this affect Flynns military record and benefits ?

  120. Isn't "going easy" on Flynn something President Trump asked James Comey for? So Mueller is just doing as President Trump wanted all along.

  121. @John M Not quite, as with any sentencing, the judge has the ultimate say so, he doesn't have to abide by any recommendation. The judge may feel the same way, that Flynn, regardless of his cooperation, violated the public trust to such a degree, that prison time is warranted. For me, not only does Flynn's cooperation mean nothing, and as such prison is warranted, but he should also lose two of his three stars...

  122. @James Young Two? Leave him one? I don't think so. He used his rank to cozy up to Putin. After his civilian sentencing he should be court-martialed, reduced in rank to E-1, dishonorably discharged and imprisoned in a stockade.

  123. Now that the Bush spectacle has been put aside, we'll see how long before Trump gets back to business as usual, tweeting about Mueller, etc. I am losing heart that anything is going to come of the investigation, after all. At the very least, maybe Mueller could provide those tax returns, so that maybe the unswayed will see the fraud that Trump is.

  124. @Robert Detman You do know about the emoluments lawsuit that has been allowed to move into the discovery phase, those subpoenas may include Trumps tax returns, where we would probably see money from Russia, Don Jr said as much.

  125. Hopefully we'll find out why Sessions lied so many times, although it's doubtful that he will pay any penalty for it.

  126. @Thomas Payne Is it terrible to wish a little prison time on Sessions? He tried so hard to imprison people for minor crimes and for outrageously long sentences.

  127. We need to see people in jail who have harmed our country. I was very disappointed that more of President Bush's people didn't end up behind bars.If they had, it may have given Flynn, Mannafort, Stone, Cohen and others pause before betraying the ideals of our country.

  128. @Peter It needs to be REAL prison, though. Send them to Leavenworth.

  129. @Peter YES. That!

  130. My husband (retired Colonel) worked under Flynn. The first time he flew to DC to meet with him, hubby came home and told me- in private- that the guy was a ‘sleazeball.’ I found out much later that Flynn had pressured his subordinates to doctor intel to make it look like things were going better in Iraq/Afghanistan than they actually were. Please know that not everybody who makes it to general is a ‘hero’. A good number of these people clawed their way up the ranks the old-fashioned way: by kowtowing to their superiors, bullying their subordinates, and back-stabbing their peers. Lock him up.

  131. @Terri Thank you for your comments, and those of your husband too. They are invaluable for those of us who might automatically associate all senior military officials with discipline, selflessness and the ability to act in our nation's best interests.

  132. @D. Poehler I second that! I am so very grateful to hear this account, thankyou Terri!

  133. @Terri I think he is a disgusting individual. I hope the judge gives him some time in prison. I don't care how much he's cooperated. He deserves jail time.

  134. You treat a “former Army lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency” like a street informer, because he wasn’t much of a bookkeeper as a lobbyist.

  135. Frankly, I could care less how much Flynn, cooperated, he "cooperated to keep his stars, and hopefully not go to a federal prison with Manafort. But he's still a traitor to this country, on many levels, and he deserves time in prison, just as a reminder that this country, is ruled by laws. Flynn's cooperation is nothing more than self serving, and if there has ever been a reason for Trump to be worried, this is it, it's name is Flynn.

  136. When my house got broken into, I was quite relieved that a neighbor who witnessed the criminal act willingly "flipped" and called the police.

  137. @Occam's razor A bit of stropping may be necessary: Wouldn't your witness-neighbor had to have been one of the gang that conspired to break into your house in order for him to have "flipped"?

  138. Talking to foreign countries after the election is not a crime and not collusion. If the president at that time was acting against the wishes of the President - elect, the president was acting against the wishes of the American people and it should not have happened. A President who did not do anything when Russia was interfering in the election who have waited out or consulted the president elect what to do.

  139. @Alex E Alex, actually, talking to a foreign government while a private citizen with the intent of influencing their policy in a dispute with a sitting president is a crime, but that one was dropped in a plea bargain. The crime Flynn plead guilty to was lying under oath. As for consulting with Trump - Trump turned down almost all offers from the outgoing administration for consultation, and the few he took he disregarded. If Trump had followed consultation he would have fired the compromised Flynn much earlier, and he would now be in a much better position as a result.

  140. @Alex E How about conspiring with foreign countries BEFORE the election? That OK with you?

  141. @earlyman. Its so cute when people such as alex make statements that are false, or aka "alternative facts." I cannot count how many times its been stated that speaking to foreign govts between elections is illegal.

  142. "If I had done 1/10th of what she did, I'd be in jail now. Yeah lock her up!" The pinnacle of hypocrisy and flaming lies and conspiracy theories. He better had given Mueller the biggest fish of all for this lifeline after the disgrace he was during the 2016 campaign.

  143. @Pete Well said!

  144. @Pete What do you mean "was?"

  145. @Pete Exactly! Flynn was willing to lock her up for nothing! She went in front of Gowdy's Benghazi investigations seven times and passed. Her e-mail server issue was investigated by the FBI, and their results vetted by none other than Paul Ryan. Still no chargeable offenses. Flynn himself, however, took a plea to save his posterior even more serious charges. @Pete, truly this is the pinnacle of hypocrisy!

  146. What makes someone who served our country be so willing to betray it? Was it for the money? His hatred of the Clintons? I am sure Flynn wants some sort of redemption and it's more honorable to forgive. But I'm not willing to consider that just yet -- not in light of how much damage he has done to our country.

  147. @cece Have patience, cece. For all we know, any damage that Flynn did may be strongly counter-balanced with the help he gave Mueller. It was Flynn who brought Mueller on board when Ginger tried to call Comey off. It was Flynn who called Kislyak well knowing Kislyak was surveilled very closely. Flynn knew he would be caught. I wouldn't be surprised if Flynn wasn't cooperating or working with intelligence and the FBI from day one. If so, he qualifies as a hero. We have to wait and see, and yet we may never know.

  148. @Nelly Should this be the outcome his part of the trump era history may not be so harsh. It is an abhorrent betrayal that someone of his rank and level of knowledge regarding US intelligence sought to capitalize on it with this countries adversaries. It's chilling to imagine what the current cabinet and administration will betray and sell once they leave the WH. It's likely they are already cashing in. An amoral unethical lot the likes of which this country hasn't seen in decades.

  149. @cece. I think we can glean a bit of an answer from Flynn's enthusiastic embrace of "lock her up." Someone who was a patriot would not encourage breaking the rule of law. Just because he was in the military doesn't make him a decent human person. The proof: the sought to profit from his position when he was on Team Trump, and now he seeks to profit from his position as a witness for the prosecution. He's basically an opportunistic turncoat.

  150. All I can say is I do not want to hear anyone call Mr. Flynn an American hero for what he has done. Committing serious crimes showing a serious lack of judgement does not make someone a hero just because they came clean to a prosecutor. I am sure Fox News is getting ready to put Flynn in the Oliver North file and start minimizing his transgressions and betrayal of our country.

  151. @Vexations To the contrary, Fox News will try to eviscerate Flynn's reputation, claiming he made up a bunch of lies to save himself, and to undercut Trump's presidency. They will do this even if facts, which are proven to be true, are the basis for Mueller's actions regarding the Trump Administration and Russia.

  152. @Vexations There's no "e" in judgment. "His coming sentencing after a year of valuable cooperation with prosecutors brings us a step closer to learning why Mr. Trump was so invested in him." It's more likely Flynn is dumping dirt on Obama, Brennan and Clinton, which he'd accumulated over 2 years as DDIA, than on Trump, whom he knew for a cup of coffee.

  153. @Vexations what did he do? Delete 33000 subpoenaed emails? Did he run a soft target server with classified secrets on it in violation of the law? Did he hire foreign operatives to get 'dirt' from Russia? We know who did these things. We also know that Flynn did not do the things for which he plead guilty. And please, don't give me that line that no one pleads guilty to a crime they didn't commit. If you say that, the first thing I will know is you are not living in the real world.

  154. There is no reason to doubt the wisdom of Robert Mueller's offering leniency to Michael Flynn, for the sake of this inquiry and future prosecutions; clearly his contribution has been valuable. That said, I'm troubled at the prospect of Flynn's getting no jail time at all, given the nature and gravity of his crimes; and also that Mueller's team cited his military career as a factor, which seems to me irrelevant to questions of justice. I can't help thinking of (and seeing on TV) his leading the chant of "Lock her up." So this true enemy of the people should be locked up, if only for a while.

  155. @Jeff Scheuer-Gen. Flynn also lied to Congress and lied on his disclosure forms. Surely the Republicans who have put so much store in their investigations would open up an inquiry.

  156. @Jeff Scheuer - two years sounds fair, reduced to 1 year with good behavior. That way he is a felon for life and is also rewarded for cooperation.

  157. Flynn betrayed his service. As a senior intelligence official he should have been smarter. But I guess not.

  158. "Mr. Flynn’s assistance must give pause to the president, who has complained that “flipping” to testify against others should be illegal and has denigrated the work of law enforcement agencies." I wonder if Donald Trump would be so sanguine and cavalier about stating the above if the tables were turned and Hillary Clinton were under investigation for ties to a foreign adversary to whom she in part owed her election? Somehow, what's good for the goose, ain't for the gander with this president who routinely accuses others of actions he often is guilty of. Like many who post here, I follow Mr. Mueller's every move, as long as he's able to make them. It's not so much that I expect Trump to be dethroned if evidence warrants, but I want to know the full truth, and nothing but. Over and over we see tantalizing crumbs but no full loaf. That the president rails so much against the investigation(s) indicates that where there's smoke there's likely fire. I just wish we had a president who praised the rule of law instead of openly denigrating it like a mob boss to whom loyalty is more important than justice.

  159. @ChristineMcM It's a "family" thing.

  160. We don't know yet what Mueller has on Flynn, but it seems like they could be serious crimes. Discussing foreign policy with a foreign adversary when not in office is a violation of the Logan Act. Arranging for a backdoor channel to foreign adversaries outside the purview of US security officials appears to be complicit with espionage. In agreeing to reduce sanctions as compensation to an adversary for assistance in winning an election, one is doing the bidding of the adversary because they would only be giving assistance to achieve a result that they want. Therefore, the person would be committing one of the two acts of treason that is a person who is “... adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” It seems like the SCO only charged Flynn with lying to them about what he was doing and excused him of the underlying crimes. To counteract the effects of a conspiracy and deter others from similar acts an investigation must have the evidence indict those at the top. Prosecutors can either offer a plea to a person like Flynn which does not punish him for all the crimes he has committed, or they can indict him and hope that they evidence against the leaders is exposed in court. Watching the video of Flynn leading mindless chants of “Lock her up” one can’t help in thinking that he deserves to be punished fully. Unfortunately, the evidence that they might have to convict him might not be enough to expose the person or persons above him.

  161. @Denis Nobody has been convicted of a Logan Act violation. It's a 200 year old law, that's hardly, if ever, been enforced. And from what we think happened, that Flynn said to the Russian ambassador something to the effect that they should not overreact, not escalate, in response to the new sanctions by Obama because the new administration was coming in a month, sure doesn't amount to much. If that's all he said, no way Mueller would have charged him with that as a Logan Act violation and if he did, no jury in America would have convicted.

  162. Which begs the question: why lie to the FBI, Congress and the VP about it?

  163. Before cooperating, Mr. Flynn displayed an unusually aggressive, almost angry attitude in his role as a Trump booster, not to mention the behavioral concerns observed by his colleagues as well as President Obama. I am very thankful that Flynn is no longer in the highest levels of our government.

  164. I’m interested in what happened to Gen Flynn. As I understand it something changed with him around the time he was fired by Obama. He’d apparently become dictational, obsessed with Iran and ordered staff to find evidence of his suspicions rather than following evidence. Several of his old comrades spoke of a charge in him. Then he showed up with Trump. What changed?

  165. And Lin-Manuel Miranda has got plenty of new material...for a different kind of musical!

  166. "The words “substantial assistance” are a legal term of art and carry significant weight in sentencing decisions. " Many times in law school the professor would highlight a phrase as a "legal term of art," meaning that we should pay attention.

  167. Netanyahu-Kushner encryption/conspiracy over UN 2334 is crime most directly connected to Flynn - this a central thrust of Mueller's charges Netanyahu's ordering of Mossad/Private Mossad Ops on the 2016 election, Hillary Forest and Cruz Bear, are another set of Logan Act charges catching up Joel Zamel, PsyGroup, and Don Jr Netanyahu also ordered Mossad/Private Mossad Front Black Cube against the Obama Iran team bye bye Bibi

  168. The irony of seeing this man led off to the hoosegow is too delicious to be ignored. Oh, how the gods will laugh!

  169. Only bringing down Trump can merit leniency for Flynn.

  170. Hey, he went easy on him as requested. Winning!

  171. can trump get unrecdacted versions of these filings via whitaker?

  172. @t power yes Whitaker can get the unredacted files as he is the boss of Mueller and Rosenstein but he must know if it comes out he is out as AG.

  173. While there’s focus on Flynn concealing his transition period calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak, Flynn’s Russian contacts go much further back. In August 2015 Flynn met Trump for a 90 minute meeting in New York. Three months later in December of 2015, Flynn sat next to Putin at an anniversary dinner. In July 2016 the Trump campaign was considering Flynn as a potential VP. In November 2016 Trump announced he would nominate Flynn as national security advisor. In December 2016 Flynn and Kushner met Russian Ambassador Kislyak at Trump Tower.

  174. I don't care whether Flynn gets jail time. I do care that Trump is impeached and hope he'll spend time in jail, but won't hold my breathe on the later. Flynn's testimony is obviously help Mueller nail Trump..yea!

  175. Remember how Trump defiantly hired Flynn as his national security advisor over Obama’s strong advice not to hire him at all? The special counsel’s sentencing recommendation in face of the seriousness of Flynn’s crimes—which, as several earlier commenters have observed, must mean Flynn delivered the mother lode—not only validates the wisdom of Obama’s advice but is the height of the many ironies of this presidency. Trump was not about take advice from the predecessor he claimed was so unworthy of the office, and his failure to do so may be his ultimate undoing.

  176. Pelosi 2019!

  177. Would be nice, but Is there sufficient dirt on Pence?

  178. A question for Michael Flynn: Care to repeat that chant? What? We can’t hear you. Louder please. Pretend you are at the podium during the Republican convention. Okay. Let us help you. One... Two... Three! “Lock...

  179. @Opinioned! You may have missed in the press that the investigation around Clinton and the misuse of the Foundation are heating up -

  180. Unlike what the nytimes editorial board would like to think, Flynn's light or no sentence provides substantial indication that he was not involved in any serious illegal criminal activity involving Trump et al and conspiracy with Russia. That also strongly suggests none has been discovered, since Flynn has been falsely identified as a central figure.

  181. @sh What the sentencing recommendation indicates is that you couldn't be more wrong.

  182. @sh... me thinks you overlooked pages of redactions where Flynn cooperated with an ongoing criminal investigation which the Muller team is not leading. Now I'm no attorney, but if my client has potential criminal exposure the retainer just went up.

  183. Hopefully, Mr. Mueller will have enough to totally disenfranchise even the most ardent Trump follower. Hopefully Mr. Mueller has enough on Trump to prove him to be the small time hood and big time con man that he is. So that even the most ardent Trump supporter will see the contempt they are viewed with. Hopefully, Mueller can rat him out for every dirty thing he's ever done, and totally destabilize the foundations of Trump Towers' universal. And then the States can move on to getting a similar piece of the action, and then NYC et al. There is no reason now to believe that Trump ever honestly earned a dime.

  184. I know Muller has asked for leniency, but will flynn get it? I hope not.

  185. @Kate What if his cooperation means he provided enough assistance to insure Trump's head will be served up on a platter by the special prosecutor? Would that make a lenient sentence justifiable?

  186. @Kate; On the one hand I agree with you, but on the other, this is what other felons count upon when they give up information on their equally corrupt, or even more corrupt cohorts. People in the same position as Flynn, in the future, would not be so eager to cooperate with the law, unless they knew there was something in it for them to do so. As in a lighter sentence or a practically non-existent sentence. I hope Roger Stone, and Jerome Corsi, who I see as two low life, guttersnipe fiends, get what is coming to them. I love when people who think that they are big shots and smarter than everyone else get their just due.

  187. Flynn's cooperation with Mueller spells the end of the Trump's desire for a 2nd term. The democrat House will further dampen the chances of Trump to win a 2nd term as Trump's shady finances see the light of day. Republican senators pulling away from Trump on MSB may know something we don't as they look to the future of a GOP without the baggage of a corrupt Trump presidency.

  188. The anger and disgust directed towards Flynn is justifiable but it's hard to access whether or not a custodial sentence is appropriate when the extent of his cooperation with the investigation is unclear. If it leads to an indictment of individual 1 and individual 1's family, cabinet members and aides that may be an equitable exchange and could lift some of the stain on Flynn's reputation.

  189. People like witnesses telling the complete truth. People like exposure of secret meddling in election. People like silence vs excuses not under oath. People will remember that Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen changed their tune and their allegiance. And that it was constructive to determining the truth; and that is to their credit. Robert Mueller is highly respected by the majority of American citizens. If he says that Mr Flynn ended-up doing the right thing and that it counts for something, then it did.

  190. To paraphrase Flynn himself - if Hillary had done a tenth of what he has done, she would definitely have been locked up. Lock him up. What about Flynn's Saudi nuclear deal, the lying about his Russian earnings, the planned kidnapping of the Turkish dissident Fethullah Gülen, secret communications channels for Jared and Russia, ... and he won't be locked up?!!! T the very least, he should have the decency to apologize to Hillary Clinton in public!

  191. Smart move on Mueller’s part to ask for no jail time which makes a Trump pardon less attractive. This ensures that Flynn doesn’t do a double flip like Manafort did.

  192. Mueller probably has lots of other charges he could also file against Flynn. Also, maybe this light sentence would inspire Manafort to tell the truth.

  193. I hope that the judge sentencing Flynn still retains great discretion in just what sentence Flynn faces. Whether or not there is prison time, we will see. But it would be poetic for the judge to demand and require Flynn to make a very public apology to Hillary Clinton for his vulgar, mean-spirited, and dishonorable behavior at the Repub convention of 2016.

  194. I'm wondering if some of the redacted info had to do with Flynn's role in working with Mercer and Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL) during the campaign. He was an advisor for SCL. SCL is affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, which micro targeted Facebook users illegally. And CA was used by the Trump campaign (hired by Kushner). CA is also tied to Steve Bannon, Bolton, the Mercers (who were on the transition team and major donors to Trump). It seems Breitbart echoed some of the fake news that was going around Facebook. Some common denominators here.

  195. By now, most Americans are in full agreement that Donald J. Trump does not belong in the White House. Now there is widespread agreement that he, more appropriately, belongs in the Out House.

  196. Cannot wait to read the 302’s connected to this case. Let’s dig deeper into Obama unmasking a decorated military veteran and US citizen.

  197. @Mike B. I think you meant to say the 'Big House'....

  198. I'd like to know the day and the time when Mr. Flynn will personally present Mrs. Clinton with a heart-felt apology.

  199. Yes, it is possible that we may never know why a respected man like Flynn did what he did. Perhaps its like contracting a fever when you hang out in the swamp that was Trump's campaign too long. As we have seen Trump Madness mania has infected 40 percent of our population. This does not absolve Flynn or the masses that have fallen sway to Trump's corruption, but it does show how vulnerable to con men we can become without the frame of reference supplied by a sense of truth and lawfulness.

  200. If this is the new standard in Washington (process crime followed by relentless government legal pressure) there will be very few people in Washington truly innocent. Flynn is the status quo in DC.

  201. @Dady - So, it's okay to let everyone off the hook because everybody does it? Or is your concern that everyone might be subject to prosecution? Why should people in power get a slap on the wrist or, worse yet, a look the other way? Particularly while people are serving lengthy prison sentences in degrading and debasing conditions because they can't afford teams of lawyers and their convictions look good on some DA's resume. The idea is, as emulated by the Obama administration, stay clean. Don't do that stuff. Don't create a scandal. Don't hire someone who has scandal written all over themselves. The issue is related to the standard we have established by placing a lying, cheating, arrogant, womanizing (to put it mildly), semi-educated, paranoid grifter in the White House, who then brings along his cronies, allows those cronies to bring their pals, and relies on the advise of a son-in-law whose resume shouts "For Sale to the Highest Lender." That, by all measures, is the current status quo.

  202. @Dady Sorry, but that's utter nonsense and a smear of the countless govt employees, both civil service and political appointees, who work hard and honestly every day on behalf of the people of this country.

  203. @Dady My father worked in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. He was motivated by a desire to improve the nation he cared about. He worked hard and was fulfilled. Most of his colleagues seemed about the same to me. Yes, it is a very different world now, but if the voters want a government that serves them, they ought to pay attention and vote based on things that matter. It's always comforting to think bad things happen because of bad or corrupt people. Typically, really bad things happen when good people stop paying attention or accept irrational premises or are stuck in a bad system. Also, we now make lots of judgments about things with no real information because we think we know the way the world (or Washington, DC) works.

  204. I'd like to know the day and the time when Mr. Flynn will personally present Mrs. Clinton with a heart-felt apology on Fox TV.

  205. From afar I saw Flynn scream “lock her up” Surely justice calls now for him to be locked up for his crime As s Canadian I thought I knew (and admired) the United States. Not any more

  206. @A. Stanton Oh wow, that would indeed be a "heroic" act. It would right so many wrongs. Thanks.

  207. From a former federal prosecutor who wrote dozens of sentencing memoranda for cooperating witnesses: Though you correctly identify the phrase "substantial assistance" as a term of art, you still lean heavily, and improperly so, on the word "substantial." The phrase "substantial assistance" is a required statutory trigger to allow the judge to depart from the otherwise applicable sentencing range. It is in EVERY sentencing memo submitted by the government on behalf of a cooperating witness. All "substantial" means in this context is that a cooperating witness has not violated his bargain and has materially furthered the investigation and/or prosecution of one or more persons or entities. "Substantial assistance" is therefore more incantation than tea leaf.

  208. @TS - OK, I'm sure we all appreciate your acumen and experience on this but here's what I say in addition: We'll all see soon enough how substantial his cooperation was. Just seems interestingly timely that this is all coming on the heels of Cohen and Manafort dramas. Substantially timely.

  209. And very shortly after Trump submitted his written answers to Muller.

  210. From the beginning it was clear that Mr. Flynn knew his conversation would be recorded and on the record. No one in the security world would have made that call without direct orders from a superior whom they trusted would give ground cover for them. Therefor refusing to give those above cover when they would not cover for him was to be expected, As most of the people who thought loyalty was a two way street with DT have found out that ain't so.

  211. Who decides how much gets redacted? Muller was able to keep a lot out of the public eye, but he was still forced to show his hand a bit. Why did we learn as much as we did and not more or less?

  212. @Ben there are multiple ongoing investigations, so there are redactions. The investigation is complex, much mor so than any of us, know.

  213. @Ben Mueller decided, I believe. From the Mueller sentencing memo: "Because the Addendum includes sensitive information about ongoing investigations, the government is seeking to partially seal the Addendum, and has filed publicly a redacted version of the document that excludes the sensitive information.""

  214. The judge handling the case has the last word on redaction.

  215. I see this as another case of "rank has its privileges." At the small (in terms of personnel) Army base where I finished my enlistment, the base commander, a full colonel, took his staff car off base and, under the influence of alcohol, wrecked it. His punishment, on the condition he resign immediately, a promotion to brigadier general.

  216. @Glen And I am guessing the medal he got for that resignation with promotion was a miniature wrecked auto. And if he had a CIB, it should have been taken from him--since the wrecked auto would have been apt recognition.

  217. We don't know all the details with Flynn but his interactions with the Russian govt certainly looks like classic textbook treason (that would have sentenced a person to the electric chair in a different decade.) I realize Muller needed Flynn's information, but it is another dark sign of the USA in 2018 that someone like Flynn can do so much harm to the USA and THEN get a light sentence. Meanwhile Edward Snowden cannot come to the USA because he is to some in our govt a traitor. Ugh what a mess this country is in.

  218. @K Henderson This was only a sentencing recommendation. The actual sentencing with be determined by the judge. Be patient.

  219. Humans are motivated by both self-interest and by values. Typically we distort our view of the world so we don't have to choose. It's easier when things align. So Flynn is probably motivated by both. It's easier to see the latter when staying out of jail is factored in.

  220. Regardless of his cooperations, Mr. Flynn should serve time for willfully and intentionally lying, misleading and working on behalf of another government; he should be held accountable for his actions. It is simple: there are consequences for actions; whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, right is right and wrong is wrong. At this point in the investigation, it seems that Mr. Flynn’s cooperation reflects the fact that he got caught, not that he had an epiphany and decided to do the right thing. Perhaps there are additional facts about his cooperation that would alter opinion-then we shall amend accordingly and necessarily.

  221. @DM Perhaps it is a kind of "white flag" informing others that might be considering turning states evidence that they will be dealt with in a lenient manner...and so encouraging their co-operation.

  222. Has anything been done for Gen Flynn by the special counsel's team regarding his military status. The Army still has to be heard from as they retain "control" over him as a retired officer. This includes his "status and retired pay et al. If he has done such a good job for the special counsel are they going to do anything for him re the military?

  223. @paul s. I agree. Flynn should be stripped of his rank and forfeit his military benefits.

  224. Something seems amiss here. Mueller is recommending that Flynn receive no jail time for lying to the FBI about 1) breaking the Logan Act law in trying to negotiate with Russia before Trump became president and 2) failing to register as a foreign agent in lobbying for Turkey as required by the FARA. So I get that Mueller may forgive him for the lying based on his cooperation, but if he also broke the underlying laws which prompted that lying, is he getting off for those, too? That seems way too lenient to me.

  225. @Evan, What many are missing here, in criticizing the recommendation of no prison sentence, are at least these two points: First, just because Flynn was charged with only one count doesn't mean that this is all Mr. Mueller can charge him with. What's going on here, I suspect, is a charge bargain. That is, Mueller could have charged Flynn with a number of other crimes and recommended a prison sentence, but because of the nature and extent of Flynn's "substantial cooperation", he is choosing not to, at this time. Should Flynn breach the plea agreement in any way, Mueller is free to go after him for any number of charges, just as with Manafort. And second, by recommending no prison sentence, Mueller can dispense with the usual requirement of describing any number of egregious acts that would justify prison time. The more substantive information Mueller provides, the easier it is for Trump and his toadies to continue to witness tamper or otherwise obstruct the investigation. Conclusion? Mueller gave up nothing here. He is very comfortably in the driver's seat. No doubt there will be more indictments. Mueller is playing the long game, wisely so. As much as I'd like the "vengeance" of seeing Flynn in an orange jumpsuit, I understand exactly why Mueller gave him the deal he did. This decision only strengthens Mueller's case against this corrupt president and his cronies.

  226. I think foreign policy "expert" and real estate debtor Kushner may be a big fish in this. We heard rumblings of his atempts at a backdoor communication channel with russia. Likely every of his many security-clearance-form revisions led Mueller right to the interesting bits.

  227. While I understand Muller’s approach and the strategy, I worry that in the end, nobody in the current administration will be made accountable for the seriousness and depth of the crimes committed as part of 2016 Election interference, and the associated crimes. The most likely scenario is that - Flynn won’t be punished at all. - Trump will pardon any convicted crime coterie of his kids, kin and friends. - Trump will hold on to the power as long as possible and may end up resigning or walk way by 2020, but with no legal punishment. Even if he is indicted, the next administration will pardon him (like the Nixon scenario) - Both Rick gates and Cohen will probably end up doing nominal time for crimes unrelated to Russian meddling. - At the end, Richard Pinedo, the least influential of the posse, who pleaded guilty for identity theft will serve 6 months in jail, probably the longest related to Russian meddling crimes. Just to bench mark election crimes, Texas recently sentenced a Mexican woman for 8 years in prison for illegal voting. While the above clan will end up in cushy careers as contributors and consultants on conservative circles! It just shows the influence of power and vice versa. One positive thing is that this investigation exposed Trump’s other potential crimes in the state of NY and has devastating effect on his brand. Hope the Justice prevails there.

  228. @NMT. I agree and remember that the bankers and Wall Street who put the economy in the dumper also walked: Justice for all? Money talks, end of story.

  229. @NMT Even a future president cannot shield Trump from state tax charges. Thank goodness for that.

  230. What concerns me most about the leniency on Flynn is that in my opinion people of his stature and authority need to be held to an even higher standard. A high ranking distinguished military officer as Flynn was should be a beacon and inspiration representing the best of America. His behavior throughout this ordeal does not live up to those standards.

  231. @SSG It's only a sentencing recommendation, the judge will decide the punishment. Be patient.

  232. Mueller specifically says they should be held to a higher standard as well. That’s how we know that Flynn spilled the beans on Trump in a very significant way.

  233. @John Harper asking for little or no time is better than having a surprise little or no time, like 14 days and the judge ask why this is even in the courtroom.

  234. "...it is now 'appropriate and warranted,' in the special counsel’s view, that he receive a light sentence — perhaps no jail time at all." A light sentence is fine, even if it is a day or two in jail, but no jail time is not appropriate. Mr. Flynn is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and was quite literally involved in defending the country. He should have known better than to be involved with the Turks and the Russians. Yes, he probably did the right thing in the end by assisting the Special Counsel's investigation but he should not be allowed to get away scot-free.

  235. @RK Flynn was not 'involved' with the Russians. He talked to the Russian ambassador during the transition. When will they go after the Democrats we know for a fact were involved with Russians? They won't. This is a Stalinesque political investigation. Not a criminal one.

  236. Again we are pelted with the refrains of how someone who rose up the ranks in the military is a great hero and man, noble and true. I could’ve sworn that promotions in the military were highly political and full of intrigue and back-stabbing. So why are we stunned when one of these folks turns out to be self-serving and crass and even unpatriotic? Our collective adoration of all things miltary speaks of a nation devoted to empire, not its Founders or great ideals.

  237. @Dagwood The U.S. has been a militaristic nation from the get go, not a new thing about empire. American Rev. War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil Wr, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Cold War, etc.

  238. @Dagwood Unfortunately, very few Americans are aware of our violent history. The information is there, but lack of education defines us as a country now.

  239. "Mr. Flynn himself is the reason there is a special counsel. Had it not been for Mr. Trump’s desire to interfere with the F.B.I.’s pursuit of the man ..... Mr. Mueller would not have been appointed." It is easy to miss the importance of this point. Trump interceded on behalf of Flynn although he must have been aware that he was putting himself in considerable legal jeopardy by doing so. From what we know about Trump so far, he is unlikely to have done so unless doing so could possibly avert even greater peril to himself. And now, apparently, Flynn has told Mueller what that greater peril to Trump is.

  240. If true, an interesting comment on one of the news shows tonight. Flynn might be free of a jail sentence for the one count on which he has been found guilty. However, we do not know if there are others. I would not be surprised if Mueller is willing to recommend no jail time for this crime, lying to the FBI. However, are there more possible charges against Flynn that Mueller is well aware of. In that case, Mueller still holds the winning hand.

  241. Mr. Flynn’s “substantial assistance” better net the big fish, else the Mueller investigation will be made out to be a failed fishing expedition à la Whitewater. Unfortunately, in Washington, perception is reality and the Trump-Republican marketing machine will successfully justify this as a wasteful “witch-hunt” - that they have been brewing in the minds of the American people ever since Mueller took on this very complex task - if Mueller comes up short of catching the big one. Mr. Flynn, who had a long and distinguished career in service of our nation until he fell into Trump’s orbit, cannot be given a pass for his “high crimes and misdemeanors” unless his cooperation has made a material breakthrough in what Mueller has been investigating. Trump, as a candidate and as president, has systematically undermined our democratic institutions. It’s imperative for the damage that he has caused be reversed and a successful outcome of Mueller’s investigation will go a long way in this regard.

  242. @Jack Nargundkar "Mr. Flynn’s “substantial assistance” better net the big fish, else the Mueller investigation will be made out to be a failed fishing expedition à la Whitewater." Seriously? You think this is at the same level as Whitewater? You think Mueller's track record of indictments and convictions is on the level of Whitewater? You think the subject matter of this investigation is equivalent to Whitewater? God help this once-great Nation, we are deep into the Night Of Living Dolts.