A federal judge unloaded on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in 2018 and strongly suggested that he may not be able to avoid prison. The rebuke is getting renewed attention in 2020, after Flynn suggested that Trump deploy the military in to "rerun" the election.
The retired U.S. Army general had already pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors in exchange for a lenient sentence before Trump's pardon, but District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan let him know he's not off the hook yet, reported The Guardian.
“I am going to be frank with you, this crime is very serious,” Sullivan told a stunned Flynn. “I can’t hide my disgust, my disdain, at this criminal offense.”
Sullivan asked prosecutors whether they ever considered charging Flynn with treason, and he accused the retired general of selling out his country to Russia and Turkey.
“Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for,” Sullivan said, after describing how Flynn had secretly worked for the Turkish government before joining the Trump administration.
Sullivan repeatedly noted that Flynn committed his crimes from the West Wing of the White House, and the judge made clear that he had never, in his decades on the bench, accepted a guilty plea from a person he believed was innocent.
“I don’t intend to start today,” Sullivan said. “Any false answers will get you in more trouble."
The judge also made clear that Flynn may be sentenced to prison for his admitted crime despite the pardon.
“I didn’t say ‘wink, wink, nod, nod’,” Sullivan said. “I’m not promising anything.”
But Flynn would later receive a pardon from Trump for "any and all possible offenses."