Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a federal judge on Wednesday that he should be sentenced at a maximum to probation and community service over charges that he lied to the FBI.
In a court filing Wednesday, Flynn’s attorneys repeatedly cited their client’s past military service and volunteer work as evidence that he does not deserve to serve time behind bars.
“While the defendants in other cases cited by the government were working to benefit themselves, Mr. Flynn wrote a blank check on his life and put himself in harm’s way for more than five years in foreign deployments and thirty-three years of service to protect all Americans,” they wrote. “Mr. Flynn should receive a sentence, if any, of probation and community service.”
The filing comes after Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea last week under an agreement he had made with Robert Mueller during the former special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.
Two years ago, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump transition period.
That plea agreement has since fallen apart, with Flynn last year hiring a more combative legal team that’s accused prosecutors of malfeasance and coercing him into pleading guilty.
Amid that clash, the Justice Department reversed an earlier recommendation that Flynn receive a lenient sentence and asked that he get up to 6 months in prison.
Flynn’s sentencing memo filed on Wednesday asks the judge to “swiftly reject” the government’s recommendation.
“The reversal of its sentencing position is not only unjust, it is unlawful,” the filing reads. “If left unchecked, it will send a dangerous message to cooperators—give testimony consistent with the government’s theory of the case, regardless of veracity, or pay the price with your freedom.”
Updated at 12:43 p.m.