Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Flynn might be sentenced as early as October - judge

Flynn might be sentenced as early as October - judge

Flynn, who was sacked from the White House a year ago after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, is awaiting his sentencing after he pleaded guilty about lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about those contacts.

But within hours, Flynn's counsel, attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony, said Flynn hasn't joined the firm and that, while Flynn was aware a statement was in the works, "did not intend that it be issued at this time". He said its issuance appeared to be the result of a misunderstanding.

Earlier Tuesday Stonington, led by a former Republican campaign consultant and registered lobbyist Nick Muzin, announced that Flynn had signed on as director for global strategy. Flynn, who served as a top Trump campaign surrogate and briefly served as national security adviser before his firing in February 2017, did not make a statement after the hearing.

In a statement about the move, Flynn said he is "excited to begin this new phase of my career".

Kelner did not explain further what Flynn's ties to Muzin and Stonington are, or comment on whether he would join the firm in the future. He later referred to the company's representation of the state of Qatar and the successful efforts to broker an Oval Office meeting for Qatari government officials.

News that the senior Flynn would join Stonington Global was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Flynn pleaded guilty in December to one count of lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia's ambassador during the transition period.

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Kelner said he did not expect material changes to the facts of the case going forward, an indication that evidence turned over by Mueller has not prompted a rethink of Flynn's plea agreement.

Taking a position with a foreign lobbying firm raised eyebrows because of Flynn's deep involvement in the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, of which Flynn was a member. If Cohen agrees to cooperate, whatever relevant information he could provide would likely be shared with Mueller's team.

Another Trump campaign associate whom Mueller's team charges with lying to associates and who pleaded guilty past year, George Papadopoulos, is set to be sentenced September 7.

"General Flynn is eager to proceed to sentencing", Kelner told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing the case in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Sullivan said he was amenable to delaying sentencing until prosecutors had signaled they were ready but wanted to hold off on having the probation office prepare a pre-sentencing report until a date was set.

Sullivan said he would consider such a move next month if Flynn had finished his work for Mueller's team. George Frey/Getty Images In addition to drawing scrutiny over his Russian Federation ties, Flynn was also under a separate FBI investigation for privately working as a paid lobbyist for the Turkish government during the election. Paul Manafort, a former Trump election campaign chairman, faces charges that include conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent in connection with his lobbying for the previously pro-Russia Ukrainian government, bank fraud and filing false tax returns. He also confessed to lying about contacts with the government of Turkey.

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