Michael Flynn’s sentencing for lying to the FBI has been delayed, as prosecutors revealed on Tuesday that he’s still cooperating in the investigation into Russian collusion.
Lawyers for the short-lived national security adviser accepted Washington, DC, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan’s offer to postpone sentencing until Flynn is fully finished cooperating in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack told Sullivan that Flynn may continue cooperating going forward — but said the government was prepared to move forward with sentencing because of the extensive information the retired Army lieutenant general has already coughed up.
That includes help that led to charges against two of Flynn’s former business associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin. An indictment against the two men, who are accused of illegally lobbying the US to extradite an enemy of the Turkish government, was unsealed Monday in Virginia federal court.
Van Grack didn’t elaborate on the type of cooperation Flynn may provide in the future.
The postponement capped a tumultuous proceeding during which Sullivan erupted at Flynn for his criminal behavior and pressed prosecutors on whether they considered treason charges.
“You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the president!” Sullivan yelled. “Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for! Arguably, you sold your country out!”
That prompted Flynn’s lawyers to request a short break. When court resumed, prosecutors told Sullivan that Flynn’s work as a foreign agent concluded in mid-November 2016 – and the judge issued an apology for his fiery remarks.
“I felt terrible about that,” a retrospective Sullivan said, CBS News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy tweeted. “I’m not suggesting he committed treason.”
As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Flynn had pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements for lying to the FBI about contact he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the end of 2016.
The judge set another court date, for a status hearing, for March 13, according to tweets from reporters in the courtroom.
In previously filed court papers, Mueller did not seek jail time for Flynn. The defense asked for one-year probation and community service, noting his decorated military career and cooperation in the Russia probe.
In court, Sullivan warned Flynn that he couldn’t “promise anything” regarding a sentence – in a hint that jail time could be on the table.