Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday responded to a sentencing memo from Michael Flynn’s defense team.
The new Mueller filing offered a rebuttal of Flynn’s claim that the FBI had pushed him not to bring a lawyer to an interview that ultimately led to him pleading guilty to making false statements.
“A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents,” Mueller responded Friday.
“He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth. The defendant undoubtedly was aware, in light of his ‘many years’ working with the FBI, that lying to the FBI carries serious consequences.”
“Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI,” Mueller’s team added.
In a sentencing memo filed by Flynn’s defense team, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor claimed that law enforcement had failed to advise him that false statements he made could constitute a crime.
Flynn alleged that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had “pushed” him not to have his lawyer present during the questioning, which “led to his guilty plea.”
Last year, Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI to cover-up a meeting with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn’s lawyers have asked the court to sentence him to nothing more than one year of probation along with 200 hours of community service.
“As the Government has made clear, his cooperation was not grudging or delayed. Rather, it preceded his guilty plea or any threatened indictment and began very shortly after he was first contacted for assistance by the Special Counsel’s Office,” his lawyers said Tuesday in the sentencing memo.
Mueller’s team has also told the judge that Flynn should not face prison time, citing his cooperation with prosecutors.
Read the full memo below: