Trump calls for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to be jailed

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week. — Reuters pic

Trump calls for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to be jailed

WASHINGTON ― Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has offered extensive cooperation in the Russian Federation investigation and shouldn't spend any time in prison, special counsel Robert Mueller's team said in a court filing on Tuesday.

It's unclear if Trump will now turn his fury on Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general whom Trump grew close to during the 2016 campaign and tried to protect by asking former FBI Director James Comey to let the investigation go. Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to help cover for Trump.

During a Twitter tear on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Trump cheered on former campaign adviser Roger Stone for resisting to work with the special counsel's team. The sentencing guidelines for Flynn's offense suggest 0 to 6 months of incarceration.

In September, the special counsel's office officially scheduled December 18 for Flynn's sentencing.

The special counsel Robert Mueller's office has reportedly told defence lawyers it is "tying up loose ends" in the Russian Federation investigation, signalling that the inquiry is coming to a close.

Mueller's team is looking into whether Stone, an informal adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign, was in communication with WikiLeaks before the website publicized stolen emails from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. According to the filing, Flynn has been cooperating in "several ongoing investigations".

Virginia Democratic senator Mark Warner said Trump's tweet was "serious", adding: "The President of the United States should not be using his platform to influence potential witnesses in a federal investigation involving his campaign".

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But for the most part, prosecutors will spell out in detail the matters they believe the former Trump campaign chairman misled them about, and their public disclosures could shed new light on where the Russian Federation investigation stands.

He has instead spent considerable time with his family and worked to position himself for a post-conviction career.

Flynn's crime of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.

In court papers filed along with his plea deal, Flynn said that members of Trump's inner circle, including the president's son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner, were involved in, and at times directing, his actions in the weeks before Trump took office.

Flynn's sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 18, and prosecutors are due to submit a sentencing memo for him on Tuesday.

The government notes that Flynn "falsely stated that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to refrain from escalating the situation in response to the sanctions" and further, "falsely disclaimed any memory" of his subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which Kislak told Flynn that Russia had complied with Flynn's request. Flynn "made multiple false statements, to multiple Department of Justice ("DOJ") entities, on multiple occasions".

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