US judge delays sentencing of former Trump adviser Michael Flynn over Russia-probe report

Updated on Nov 28, 2019 06:26 AM IST
US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington cancelled the December 18 hearing on Wednesday, without setting a new date.
Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn.(Reuters image)
Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn.(Reuters image)
New York, Bloomberg | ByErik Larson

Michael Flynn’s sentencing was delayed again after prosecutors and lawyers for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser agreed it should wait until the Justice Department releases its findings from an internal probe of the Russia investigation.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington cancelled the December 18 hearing on Wednesday, without setting a new date, after receiving a joint request. The two sides agreed that the report of the Justice Department’s inspector general may be relevant to their pre-sentencing memorandums.

“The parties expect that the report of this investigation will examine topics related to several matters raised by the defendant,” they said in their filing.

The inspector general examined Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election after the president and others claimed it was steeped in bias and conducted improperly. The report is expected to come out in a matter of weeks, according to the filing.

Read More: Watchdog Faults FBI in Trump Campaign Probe, But Sees No Bias

The filing also said the sentencing shouldn’t take place before the judge rules on an Aug. 30 motion by Flynn to force the government to hand over more material it collected that could help his case.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, the retired U.S. Army general admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as to uncharged conduct concerning illegal lobbying in the U.S. for the government of Turkey. As part of the agreement, Flynn pledged to cooperate with Mueller.

The Dec. 18 hearing had been set for a year after Flynn’s original sentencing, which went awry amid questions about whether he had fully cooperated with prosecutors after agreeing to plead guilty in December 2017.

Flynn resigned from his post as Trump’s original national security adviser just three weeks into the president’s term. He quit amid allegations he’d lied to federal agents about conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. The exchanges took place after the election but before Trump took office.

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