A single-page document filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court Tuesday afternoon could spell bad news for Donald Trump, according to legal experts who say that the simple court filing indicates that the investigation into collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign is likely to carry on for months.
In the filing, Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller requests another two-month delay before sentencing is passed on Michael Flynn, the former general who was a top Trump campaign adviser and was later appointed Trump’s national security adviser — only to be fired after just 23 days, ostensibly for lying to Trump transition officials about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
But on December 1, Flynn entered a guilty plea, admitting that he lied to FBI investigators about a conversation with Kislyak concerning sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia in the final days of the Barack Obama administration. The sanctions were in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — interference designed to help Trump win the presidency according to U.S. intelligence assessments.
As part of Flynn’s plea deal — he could have been facing much more serious charges — he agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation into how the Trump campaign may have cooperated with the clandestine Russian election-tampering operation.