Michael Flynn jeered by protesters after court
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn showed up in federal court for the first time since pleading guilty last year to lying to federal agents about Russian contacts, appearing briefly before a judge who asked to be updated on the status of the case by Aug. 24.
Flynn was jeered by a small group of protesters as he arrived at and later left the courthouse in Washington, some chanting "lock him up!" He faces as long as six months once his sentencing date is set, according to his plea agreement.
To secure the deal, the one-time U.S. Army general is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into potential links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. He was forced to resign less than a month into Trump’s term, after the White House was warned he could be subjected to blackmail because his dealings with Russia hadn’t been disclosed.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who took over the case after the judge who heard Flynn’s guilty plea stepped aside, told lawyers for both sides he had "a level of discomfort," with the notion of imposing a sentence before engaging with them.
"General Flynn is eager to proceed with sentencing when that is possible," defense attorney Robert Kelner told the judge, adding his client wants to "bring an end to this chapter of his life."
In a December appearance before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, Flynn said he’d had conversations with now-former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, as Trump prepared for the presidency. The first discussion was about a U.N. security council vote concerning Israel, the second about Obama administration-imposed sanctions on Russia.
Flynn said he lied to FBI agents about those contacts, but had fully informed the Trump transition team of the talks. He also confessed to lying about contacts with the government of Turkey.