Michael Flynn's crimes were treason

Russia affair: Court postpones judgment in Flynn case

Michael Flynn is to be punished for lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia before US President Donald Trump took office. Working with the FBI, the former security advisor to the president was expected to get away with a mild sentence on Tuesday. But federal judge Emmet Sullivan postponed the sentence and initially did not set a new date for a sentence to be pronounced. US special investigator Robert Mueller still has access to Michael Flynn, one of the most important witnesses in the Russia affair.

At the hearing, the judge made it clear that he considered a harsh punishment of Flynn for "treasonous" behavior to be justified. FBI investigator Mueller had previously recommended to the court not to detain the former security advisor. As a reason for this, Mueller stated that Flynn had worked intensively on the investigations into the events surrounding Trump's election as US president and provided substantial information.

The judge referred to the seriousness of Flynn's offense and did not want to follow Mueller's recommendation for the time being. "I do not want to hide my disgust and my contempt," he said, turning to the defendant. "You sold your land." This is a "very serious crime". The judge said that he was not yet able to assess Flynn's contribution to the investigation and that he was therefore not yet able to comply with the recommendation on custody. He offered Flynn to impose a harsh sentence on the spot, or to postpone the sentence until his contribution to Mueller's investigation was clearer. After postponing the sentence ruling, Sullivan ordered tougher conditions for Flynn. As of January 4th, Flynn must stay within 50 miles of the District of Columbia capital.

A year ago, Flynn admitted that during the FBI interrogations he had deliberately given false information about contacts with the then Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kisljak. He was the first former member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the course of Mueller's investigation. When his lies came to light, Flynn resigned in February 2017 after only about three weeks in office. He later agreed to cooperate with the special investigator and was very cooperative in several interviews.