by WorldTribune Staff, December 5, 2018
For nearly two years, special counsel Robert Mueller held hostage the life of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, sapping his finances and reportedly threatening to level new charges against him, or even members of his family.
A 13-page, heavily-redacted memo released by Mueller’s team on Dec. 4 said Flynn had provided “substantial assistance” in the Russia investigation and recommended no jail time.
The memo also stated: “Defendant’s military and public service are exemplary. He served in the military for over 33 years, including five years of combat duty, led the Defense Intelligence Agency, and retired as a 3-star Lieutenant General.”
David Schoen, a top civil rights and defense attorney, said Mueller’s prosecution of Flynn “is a very sad case.”
Flynn’s “distinguished career is finished and his reputation ruined,” Schoen said. “His experience with the Mueller team is classic. He had a strong case for an acquittal of any charge that he lied, based on the government’s own documents from his FBI interviews; but when the Mueller team turned the screws to Flynn and his family and with the cost of defending himself prohibitive, he chose the course of least resistance.”
Schoen noted that the sentencing memo “proves the conventional wisdom right – if you play ball with Mueller and his band and tell them what they want to hear, you will be rewarded. And if you tell them the truth and that is not what they wanted you will be punished. It is as plain and simple as that.”
Flynn was fired as President Barack Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency chief in the spring of 2014 after less than two years at the helm of the agency. He had clashed with top Obama national security officials, including intelligence director James Clapper, over tactics and strategy against Islamic extremist groups.
The Mueller memo says Flynn provided “first hand” information about interactions between Russian government officials and President Donald Trump’s transition team. The information was gleaned from Flynn’s 19 meetings with the special counsel’s office, according to the memo.
The filing does not disclose any new details about the information Flynn offered beyond saying it was a “benefit.”
“His early cooperating was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the [Special Counsel’s Office],” wrote Brandon L. Van Grack, an attorney with Mueller’s team.
Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, who has been at the forefront of Congressional investigations into the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe, told investigative reporter Sara Carter on Dec. 4 that it’s what’s not in Mueller’s recommendations that reveal “they didn’t have anything in the sentencing guidelines that show Flynn colluded with Russia.”
“It took nearly two years for Robert Mueller to come to the same conclusion that President Trump got to several months after Flynn was charged – that Flynn is a good man and didn’t collude,” said Meadows.
Meadows noted that the term “substantial cooperation” is a legal phrase that is necessary to include in the sentencing recommendation “in order to get a reduced sentence from the court. It’s not so much used as an adjective, as it is a noun.”