The FBI tried to trap former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn into lying, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said Monday, but he doesn't know why the retired general would have lied about something that wasn't a crime.
Sullivan also noted that Flynn had operated as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Trump's campaign team and prepared to be his White House national security adviser.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation ahead of the election, had asked the judge not to sentence Flynn to prison because he had already provided "substantial" cooperation over the course of many interviews.
The run-up to Flynn's sentencing on Tuesday has exposed raw tensions over an Federal Bureau of Investigation interview in which he lied about his Russian contacts.
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Flynn's legal team last week claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigation pushed the retired general pushed him not to bring an attorney to his January 24, 2017 interview with agents.
"I can't make any guarantees, but I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offence", Sullivan said.
Revelations of those discussions led to Mueller's probe of his actions.
Of particular interest, the memo details the process that Flynn took to downplay discussions he had with Kislyak regarding Russia's UN Security Counsil vote on Israeli settlements, in which he sought to have Russian Federation vote against the resolution or at least delay it.
But Sullivan told Flynn his behaviour was abhorrent, noting that Flynn had also lied to White House officials, who in turn lied to the public.
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Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about the contents of those conversations with Kislyak.
"I can not assure that if you proceed today you will not receive a sentence of incarceration", Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn.
The tone of Tuesday's hearing startled Flynn supporters who hoped his lawyers' arguments about the FBI's conduct - they suggested he was discouraged from having a lawyer present during the interview and wasn't informed it was a crime to lie - to resonate more than it did with Sullivan, who a decade ago tossed out the prosecution of a US senator over government misconduct.
Flynn may have angered investigators and the court last week when, echoing one of Trump's longstanding allegations, he suggested FBI agents tricked him into lying and alleged that the agents themselves had come under investigation.
Mueller's team has rejected any suggestion that Flynn was duped, with prosecutors responding in a sentencing memo Friday that there was no obligation to warn Flynn against lying. Court papers show Flynn made that request at the direction of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Flynn left the courthouse hand-in-hand with his wife, climbing into an SUV as protesters heckled and supporters chanted "USA!" It was Flynn's mistake not to have lawyers there, Moss said. The notes show Flynn told agents he didn't tell Kislyak not to escalate its response to Obama sanctions on Russian Federation.
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But those plans seemingly went awry after Sullivan lambasted Flynn for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and for working as an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey.