Donald Trump’s former security adviser Michael Flynn lashed by judge as sentencing delayed
A US judge has fiercely criticised President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to FBI agents, and delayed sentencing to ensure Mr Flynn cooperates fully with an investigation into possible collusion between Mr Trump’s election campaign and Russia.
- Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
- His sentencing was delayed so he could cooperate in ongoing investigations into Russian collusion
- A Judge told Mr Flynn that: “Arguably, you sold your country out”
Mr Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington at the time.
During Mr Flynn’s sentencing hearing, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan told the retired army lieutenant general that his behaviour was abhorrent, noting that Mr Flynn had also lied to White House officials, who in turn lied to the public.
“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Judge Sullivan said.
“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offence.”
The judge noted that Mr Flynn was operating as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Mr Trump’s election team and prepared to be his national security adviser.
At one point, the judge asked prosecutors if Mr Flynn could have been charged with treason, although he later said he had not been suggesting such a charge.
Judge Sullivan appeared ready to sentence Mr Flynn to prison but then gave him the option of a delay in his sentencing so that he could fully cooperate with any pending investigations. Mr Flynn accepted that offer.
The charges Mr Flynn has pleaded guilty to carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. (AP: Carolyn Kaster)
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation, had asked the judge not to sentence Mr Flynn to prison because he had already had provided “substantial” cooperation to prosecutors over the course of many interviews.
Judge Sullivan did not set a new date for sentencing but asked Mr Mueller’s team and Mr Flynn’s attorney to give him a status report by March 13.