The special counsel's sentencing memo for former national security adviser Michael Flynn

The memo was submitted in advance of Michael Flynn's sentencing, scheduled for later this month.

Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 46 Filed 12/04/18 Page 1 of 7

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MICHAEL T. FLYNN,
Defendant.

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Crim. No. 17-232 (EGS)
Sentencing: December 18, 2018

GOVERNMENTaS MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
The United States of America, by and through Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III,
respectfully submits this memorandum in aid of sentencing defendant Michael T. Flynn. On
December 1, 2017, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of making materially false
statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (aFBIa), in violation of 18 U.S.C. ASS 1001(a).
As calculated by the United States Probation Office, the defendantas applicable Total Offense
Level is 4, Criminal History Category I, resulting in an advisory guideline range of 0-6 months.
That offense level and guideline range, however, do not account for a downward departure
pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines reflecting the defendantas
substantial

assistance

to

the

government,

which

the

government has

moved

for

contemporaneously. Given the defendantas substantial assistance and other considerations set
forth below, a sentence at the low end of the guideline rangeaincluding a sentence that does not
impose a term of incarcerationais appropriate and warranted.
The nature of the offense and the defendantas history and characteristics are set forth
below. See 18 U.S.C. ASS 3553(a). In addition, the Addendum to this memorandum describes the
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defendantas assistance to the government.

Because the Addendum includes sensitive

information about ongoing investigations, the government is seeking to partially seal the
Addendum, and has filed publicly a redacted version of the document that excludes the sensitive
information.
I.

Nature of the Offense: False Statements to the Department of Justice
The defendantas offense is serious. As described in the Statement of Offense, the

defendant made multiple false statements, to multiple Department of Justice (aDOJa) entities, on
multiple occasions. See Statement of Offense, United States v. Flynn, No. 17-cr-232 (D.D.C.
Dec. 1, 2017) (Doc. 4) (aSOFa).
The first series of false statements occurred during an interview with the FBI on January
24, 2017. At the time of the interview, the FBI had an open investigation into the Russian
governmentas efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including the nature of any
links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the
campaign of President Donald J. Trump. Days prior to the FBIas interview of the defendant, the
Washington Post had published a story alleging that he had spoken with Russiaas ambassador to
the United States on December 29, 2016, the day the United States announced sanctions and
other measures against Russia in response to that governmentas actions intended to interfere with
the 2016 election (collectively, asanctionsa). See David Ignatius, Why did Obama Dawdle on
Russiaas hacking?, WASH. POST (Jan. 12, 2017). The Post story queried whether the defendantas
actions violated the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from corresponding with a foreign
government with the intent to influence the conduct of that foreign government regarding
disputes with the United States. See 18 U.S.C. ASS 953. Subsequent to the publication of the
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Post article and prior to the defendantas FBI interview, members of President-Elect Trumpas
transition team publicly stated that they had spoken to the defendant, and that he denied speaking
to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions. See, e.g., Face the Nation transcript January 15,
2017: Pence, Manchin, Gingrich, CBS NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017).
When the FBI interviewed the defendant on January 24 about his interactions with the
Russian ambassador, the defendant falsely stated that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to
refrain from escalating the situation in response to the sanctions, and falsely disclaimed any
memory of his subsequent conversation with the ambassador in which the ambassador stated that
Russia had acceded to the defendantas request. See SOF at AP 3. In addition, the defendant made
false statements to the FBI about his prior interactions with the Russian government in
December 2016 concerning a pending United Nations Security Council resolution. See id. at AP 4.
The defendantas false statements to the FBI about (i) his contacts with a Russian government
emissary, (ii) the requests he conveyed to the Russian government through that emissary, and
(iii) Russiaas response to those requests, were material to the FBIas investigation into the nature
of any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the
Trump campaign.
The defendant made a second series of false statements to the DOJ concerning his
contacts with the Republic of Turkey. Specifically, on March 7, 2017, the defendant made
materially false statements in multiple documents that he filed pursuant to the Foreign Agents
Registration Act (aFARAa) pertaining to a project he and his company had performed for the
principal benefit of the Republic of Turkey (aTurkey projecta). Id. at AP 5. In those filings, the
defendant disclosed that he and his company began work on the Turkey project in August 2016,
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soon after a coup daA(c)tat was attempted in Turkey. Ultimately, the project lasted approximately
three months and the defendant and his company were paid $530,000 for their work.
The FARA filings omitted the material fact that officials from the Republic of Turkey
provided supervision and direction over the Turkey project. See id. At the time, the defendant
was a national security advisor and surrogate for the Trump campaign who opined publicly on
foreign policy and national security issues. The defendantas business relationship with the
Republic of Turkey was thus exactly the type of information FARA was designed to ensure was
within the public sphere. The purpose of FARA is to ensure the United States government and
the United States people are informed of the identity of foreign entitiesain this case a foreign
governmentabehind information or propaganda being used to influence public opinion, policy,
and laws.
On election day in 2016, the defendant published an op-ed for the Turkey project that
called for the removal of a cleric residing in the United States whom the President of Turkey
blamed for the failed coup in that country. See Michael T. Flynn, Our ally Turkey is in crisis and
needs our support, THE HILL (Nov. 8, 2016). The clericas responsibility for the coup attempt was
a subject of great debate, and the defendantas op-ed about the clericas role was valuable to the
Republic of Turkeyas efforts to shape public opinion. The defendant falsely represented in his
FARA filings that the op-ed was written at his own initiative, as opposed to for the Turkey
project and the Republic of Turkey, and thus again deprived the public of the very transparency
FARA was designed to ensure. See SOF at AP 5. The defendantas false statements impeded the
ability of the public to learn about the Republic of Turkeyas efforts to influence public opinion

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about the failed coup, including its efforts to effectuate the removal of a person legally residing
in the United States.
II.

History and Characteristics of the Defendant
The defendantas history and characteristics present mitigating and aggravating

circumstances. As detailed in the Presentence Investigation Report (aPSRa), the defendantas
military and public service are exemplary. He served in the military for over 33 years, including
five years of combat duty, led the Defense Intelligence Agency, and retired as a 3-star Lieutenant
General. See PSR (Doc. 44) at APAP 70-71. The defendantas record of military and public service
distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part the SCOas investigation.
However, senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards. The defendantas
extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by
providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on
behalf of a foreign government.
The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and
substantially assisting the government. As described in the Addendum, shortly after the SCO
reached out to the defendant to seek his cooperation, the defendant accepted responsibility for
his unlawful conduct and began cooperating with the government.

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III.

Conclusion
For the foregoing reasons, as well as those contained in the governmentas Addendum and

Motion for Downward Departure, the government submits that a sentence at the low end of the
advisory guideline range is appropriate and warranted.

Respectfully submitted,
ROBERT S. MUELLER, III
Special Counsel
By:

/s/
Brandon L. Van Grack
Zainab N. Ahmad
Senior Assistant Special Counsels
Special Counselas Office
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 616-0800

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I, Brandon L. Van Grack, certify that I caused to be served a copy of the foregoing by
electronic means on counsel of record for defendant Michael T. Flynn on December 4, 2018.

/s/
Brandon L. Van Grack
U.S. Department of Justice
Special Counselas Office
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 616-0800
Attorney for the United States of America

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