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Michael Flynn asks judge to let him avoid prison

Mueller issues Flynn sentencing recommendation

With reporting by Robert Legare

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's attorneys filed a sentencing recommendation Tuesday calling for a sentence of probation and community service, sparing him prison time out of respect for his decades of military service and his "genuine contrition for the uncharacteristic error in judgment that brought him before this court."

They argued in their filing that Flynn's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "was not grudging or delayed." On the day he entered his guilty plea, Flynn said he was "working to set things right," his lawyers observed.

Flynn spoke with the special counsel's office and other investigators 19 times, for a total of approximately 62 hours and 45 minutes, the filing notes. His lawyers also pointed out that Flynn produced thousands of pages of documents without holding back "sweeping categories of documents," they said, rather than "fight over the breadth of subpoenas." He also provided electronic devices, and after his plea agreement provided the special counsel with five more document productions. 

The filing also contains 50 letters of support for Flynn that attest to his character. His lawyers reminded the court that Flynn spent much of his adult life in public service, 33 years and four months in the Army, with stints in Grenada, Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan. He rose through the ranks to become director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn's lawyers also described his initial questioning by the FBI. It was FBI special agent Peter Strzok who interviewed Flynn, and Strzok and the agent with him failed inform Flynn that "it was a crime to lie to the FBI." They "wanted him to be relaxed" in hopes that he would give them more information. Strzok worked on the Mueller probe until it was discovered that he had exchanged text messages critical of Mr. Trump with another FBI official, Lisa Page. Strzok was fired in August.

The special counsel, which filed its sentencing memo on Flynn last week also suggested he serve no time for making a false statement to the FBI. Mueller suggested that Flynn had given the government "substantial assistance." The sentencing guidelines for Flynn's offense suggest zero to six months of incarceration.

Clare Hymes contributed to this report.