WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election (all times local):
Lawyers for former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn are calling his false statement to the FBI “an uncharacteristic error in judgment” as Flynn hopes to avoid jail time when sentenced this week.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition period. His lawyers on Tuesday requested a sentence of probation and community service.
The special prosecutor looking into Russia’s contacts with the Trump campaign says Flynn’s cooperation has been extensive and supports no jail time.
Prosecutors have also agreed that the retired Army lieutenant general should spend no time behind bars. They describe him as a model cooperator who has provided substantial assistance in the investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Russian election interference.
Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to federal investigators about the contents of his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Flynn was forced to resign from his national security post in February 2017.
President Donald Trump says in a new interview that he is not concerned about being impeached by Democrats, saying, “I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”
In a Reuters interview Tuesday, Trump spoke out for the first time about new documents filed by prosecutors detailing the alleged crimes of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen has said he made hush payments to two women accusing Trump of infidelity in the waning days of the 2016 campaign.
Asked if he discussed campaign finance law with Cohen, Trump tells Reuters: “Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing.”
He adds: “Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?”
Attorneys for Paul Manafort say they’re still deciding whether to dispute allegations that their client lied to investigators and breached his plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort attorney Richard Westling says it’s possible the defense will reach an agreement with prosecutors to avoid a hearing on the matter.
The disclosure came as U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the former Trump campaign chairman until Jan. 7 to respond to the allegations.
Manafort is accused of lying about his interactions with an associate who prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence and with Trump administration officials.
Jackson says if the two sides can’t agree, she’ll need more information than what was included in a government filing last week to determine whether Manafort violated his plea deal.
Two former Trump aides are pleading their case to judges in hopes of easing the punishment they could face for their crimes.
Lawyers for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn will make a sentencing recommendation in a court filing due by the end of the day, while Paul Manafort’s defense team is expected to argue that the ex-Trump campaign chairman never intentionally lied to prosecutors.
Both men could be a potential threat to President Donald Trump as Mueller examines whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign.