Back in January of 2017, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was interviewed by the FBI at the White House. By December of that year, Flynn had pled guilty to lying to federal agents in that very interview — and now the notes on the meeting are being released for the first time to the public.
According to Business Insider, the FBI interview notes were requested by the judge on Flynn’s case, who deemed the previously redacted documents as useful in the sentencing process. Flynn’s sentencing will be determined on Tuesday for his crimes.
During the interview in January of 2017, Flynn was repeatedly asked about his past conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks leading up to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Every single time the Russian Ambassador was mentioned, Flynn denied ever speaking to him about a pending US resolution on Israel or Russian sanctions. This was later proven to be untrue.
Despite being on record as repeatedly lying to the FBI, things may turn out all right for Michael Flynn. Reports show that Flynn has been extremely cooperative with prosecutors, and even provided substantial assistance in their ongoing Russia probe. Flynn is expected to serve little to no time in prison.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn once led Trump supporters in chants of "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 18, 2018
This is in marked contrast with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, who was recently sentenced to three years in prison for a number of crimes, including campaign finance violations as well as lying to Congress. Trump and Cohen have repeatedly traded barbs through the media, with Trump referring to Cohen as a rat.
Trump has been noticeably friendlier and more supportive of Flynn; on Tuesday morning he took to Twitter to express his support for his former national security advisor.
“Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn,” Trump tweeted. “Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!”
Flynn is hoping the judge is just as lenient as Trump. Last week, Flynn’s attorneys released a memo to be considered during the sentencing process. In it, Flynn insists that he was never told that lying to FBI agents was actually a crime. This angle did not sit well with prosecutors, who insisted that Flynn was well aware of the law — and if he wasn’t, he should have been.
“A sitting National Security, 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,” prosecutors said in a statement. “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.”