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Michael Flynn fires his lawyers, hires new counsel

Judge rebukes Flynn, delays sentencing

Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russian officials, has fired his lawyers and hired new counsel ahead of his sentencing hearing.

Flynn's lawyers, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony from the firm Covington & Burling, informed the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in a filing that their client terminated their services on Thursday. They did not give a reason in their notice, but said that he has already hired new counsel to represent him in his criminal matter brought by now former special counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn still has not been sentenced and his sentencing hearing has still not been scheduled.

He originally expected to be sentenced in December 2018, but a judge granted a delay so that Flynn could cooperate further with the government. Judge Emmet Sullivan said he would take Flynn's 33 years of military service into account when deciding the sentence but called his crime "very serious."

"Arguably, you sold your country out. The court's going to consider all that," Sullivan told Flynn in December. "But I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense."

In March, Flynn requested a delay in sentencing for lying to the FBI, after the special counsel's office said Flynn's work with the government was "complete."

Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to  lying to federal investigators concerning his contacts with Russian officials. He had falsely stated he had not talked about sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, before Mr. Trump took office. In fact, Flynn called Kislyak five times at the end of December in 2016, and the two discussed sanctions the Obama administration had put on Russia.

Clare Hymes and Grace Segers contributed to this report

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