The long-awaited filing from Special counsel Robert Mueller on the sentencing of Michael Flynn did not go into detail on what precisely Flynn has given Mueller beyond acknowledging his “substantial assistance.” It did include however a surprising disclosure that Flynn was not only helping Mueller on the investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government but also two other redacted investigations. That has led to considerable unease in some quarters as to what those two additional investigation might be.The recommendation for no jail time is not surprising. Some of us have been critical of Mueller’s criminal charge of the false statement because the original investigators reportedly did not believe that Flynn intentionally lied. When Mueller came in, they used the false statement to threaten him as well as his son. Having said that, Flynn was involved in a host of dubious transactions and used his son as a key aide in the dealing — exposing not just himself but his family to such pressure
The recommendation also sends a message to other witnesses that their fortunes will change depending on their cooperation. For Paul Manafort, Mueller is working on guaranteeing that he dies in prison after he was viewed as violating his cooperation agreement. George Papadopoulos also faced Mueller’s anger though a court declined Mueller’s request for a higher sentencing.
For Flynn, he could walk without jail time after being cooperative. The message is deafening.
There are two main areas of cooperation with the second unexplained with what appears two subsidiary inquiries. Flynn was involved in an alleged interest of Turkey in the effective kidnapping and delivery of Erdoğan critic Fethullah Gülen to Turkey for presumed torture and execution. At a meeting at the 21 Club in New York, Flynn was reportedly offered $15 million to arrange for Gülen to be taken on a private plane to a Turkish prison island. Flynn was also allegedly involved in a virtual propaganda film meant to discredit Gülen. The timing of these meetings is important because some communications occurred in December, when Flynn was assuming the role of acting national security adviser.