1. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, Associated Press Washington Reporter:
"Tonight special counsel Mueller filed a sentencing memorandum for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and in the document he recommended no prison time for Flynn because of what he said was Flynn's "substantial cooperation." He then went on to reveal that Flynn had cooperated extensively with Mueller by meeting with the office 19 times, cooperating not just in the Mueller investigation but in a separate and undisclosed investigation, the details of which were redacted. This was by far the most extensive account of Michael Flynn's cooperation since he pleaded guilty, in December 2017, to lying to the FBI about conversations that he had with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period. Those conversations were really significant because in those conversations Flynn had basically encouaged Kislyak to not retaliate for sanctions that were imposed by the Obama administration for election hacking. So part of what the FBI was trying to determine is why Flynn, during that transition period, might have encouraged the Russians to not respond and to not retaliate for those sanctions. And so Flynn was interviewed soon after Trump was sworn in to office on January 24, 2017. And during that interview FBI agents asked Michael Flynn, did you discuss sanctions with the ambassador? Flynn said he did not. And that formed the basis of a material lie to the FBI. And Flynn quickly admitted to that and then pleaded guilty. And so as part of that deal prosecutors were seeking zero prison time, which is really significant, it's an interesting reflection of his cooperation and the extent of it. And yet, what I think is also important to note is that the sheer number of redactions in this brief filing uderscores how much of Mueller's investigation remains secret and how much we simply still do not know at this point. So, for instance, all of the details about what specifically Flynn has given information on, who he's cooperated against, all of that is blacked out. And we don't know the answers to that. So it does suggest that there's still more work that Mueller and other proscutors around the justice department, are doing, related to Flynn's cooperation. Flynn is the fifth Trump associate to admit guilt in this investigation, and I should note that there's been no drama associated with his cooperation . He has met dutifully with the prosecutors and that stands in contrast to some of the other defendants who have really openly challenged Mueller's authority, who have lied even after they have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate, who have publicly accused the government of trying to cooerce their testimony. We haven't had any of that with Flynn, even though some of his supporters have encouraged him to be aggressive and push back. Flynn has really acquitted himself in a way that probably is resulting in him not getting any prison time, although I should say that that decision will ultimately be up to a judge."
US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Internet - 4 December 2018
2. Various STILLS of pages of memo filed by special counsel Robert Mueller showing redactions
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser provided so much information to the special counsel's Russia investigation that prosecutors say he shouldn't do any prison time, according to a court filing on Tuesday that describes Michael Flynn's cooperation as "substantial."
The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn's assistance in the Russia investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. But the filing's lengthy redactions also underscore how much Mueller has yet to reveal.
It was filed two weeks ahead of Flynn's sentencing and just over a year after he became one of five Trump associates to plead guilty in the Russia probe, in his case about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US.
Though prosecutors withheld specific details of Flynn's cooperation because of ongoing investigations, their filing nonetheless illustrates the breadth of information Mueller has obtained from people close to Trump as the president increasingly vents his anger at the probe - and those who cooperate with it.
This week, Trump accused his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, of making up "stories" to get a reduced prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and also praised longtime confidant Roger Stone for saying he wouldn't testify against Trump.
It's unclear if Trump will now turn his fury on Flynn, whom Trump bonded with during the 2016 campaign.
AP Washington reporter Eric Tucker explained the significance of this latest development.