Mueller says Michael Flynn should not get jail time, cites 'substantial assistance'

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A combination photo shows President Donald Trump's onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen and Trump from outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, April 16, 2018 and in the White House, July 18, 2018. Others, including prospective Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seem willing to await the actions of Mr. Mueller to build the case against Mr. Trump on criminal grounds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to have talks with US counterpart Donald Trump but after two failed attempts to meet in less than a month, it's up to Washington to make the first move, according to the Kremlin.

Mueller's investigators interviewed Cohen for 70 hours about his long legal representation of Trump and there is no indication when the probe will end. "He (Trump) is attempting to influence an ongoing investigation in an overt way".

This week, Robert Mueller said that Flynn should get no prison time because of the "substantial assistance" he has provided in the Russian Federation probe.

Mariotti also said that he found the filing unusual because Mueller recommended sentencing guidelines for Flynn while continuing to rely on his help for other potential cases.

He may get off with nothing, and the heavily redacted memo raises more questions than it answers about just what he's told Bob Mueller. But prosecutors also said the long military and government service that sets him apart from all other defendants in the investigation made his deception more troublesome.

"The defendant's decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming", the memo said.

The filing states that when the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017, "about his interactions with the Russian ambassador, the defendant falsely stated that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to refrain from escalating the situation in response to the sanctions, and falsely disclaimed any memory of his subsequent conversation with the ambassador in which the ambassador stated that Russia had acceded to the defendant's request". Mueller is expected to release a sentencing memo on Manafort by this Friday, December 7-and Manafort, 69, could spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

It's illegal for private citizens to interfere in a sitting government's foreign policy.

According to his plea, Flynn discussed US sanctions with Kislyak on Trump's behalf during the presidential transition and said members of the president's inner circle were aware of, and in some cases directing, his efforts.

During those conversations with Mr Kislyak, Mr Flynn asked Moscow to delay or vote against the resolution, a request the Kremlin ultimately rejected.

Obama at the time was planning sanctions on Russian Federation for its interference in the 2016 election. Flynn admitted previous year that the talks were instigated at the request of a "very senior" official who people familiar with the matter have identified as the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now a White House senior adviser.

But as with former Trump fixer Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing this week, Mueller appeared to be letting Flynn go.

Here is where things presently stand with several Trump associates, allies or former allies who have been caught up in Mueller's investigation. One of them, at a December 2015 event for Russian state broadcaster RT in which he ended up seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, raised eyebrows among his former colleagues.

Another branch of Mueller's investigation is also emerging - his interest in alleged communications between Trump's informal political adviser Roger Stone and associate Jerome Corsi with WikiLeaks, the website that published emails stolen by Russian spies from the Clinton campaign's chairman and the Democratic National Committee. In his guilty plea, Flynn acknowledged that he had also lied about the extent of his work for Turkey.