Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser for President Donald Trump, has asked a federal judge for no prison time for lying to the FBI, according to a memo by his defense released Tuesday.
One week ago, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended to federal Judge Emmet Sullivan in the District of Columbia that Flynn has provided "substantial assistance" in the Russia investigation, including possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump's 2016 campaign, and should be spared from prison time.
Flynn, 60, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators on Dec. 1, 2017 -- the first high-ranking Trump adviser to agree to formally cooperate with the special counsel's probe. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18, more than one year later.
"As the Government has made clear, his cooperation was not grudging or delayed," according to the memo. "Rather, it preceded his guilty plea or any threatened indictment and began very shortly after he was first contacted for assistance by the Special Counsel's Office."
He has offered up to one year of probation and to perform 200 hours of community service.
"Following extraordinary public service in the United States Army, during which his innovations as a highly decorated intelligence officer saved countless Americans lives, and a lifetime of faithful devotion to his family and fellow service members and veterans, as described in the powerful letters of support that accompany this submission, a sentence of non-incarceration is both appropriate and warranted," the memo said.
The 178-page memo, signed by co-counsel Robert K. Kelner and Stephen P. Anthony, included letters of support from 50 people who knew him. In addition, military merit citations and evaluations were included.
According to court filings, Flynn met 19 times with Mueller's team and other Justice Department officials. Details of those interviews have not been revealed.
He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on Jan. 24 about his contacts with the then-Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislya. Flynn initially denied that they had discussed sanctions and a United Nations resolution during the presidential transition.
Then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates told White House officials on Jan. 26 that Flynn had lied to the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence. He was fired two weeks later.
In the memo, Flynn expressed "genuine contrition for the uncharacteristic error in judgment that brought him before this Court."
During the campaign, Flynn was a close adviser to Trump. He led a "lock her up" Hillary Clinton chant at the Republican National Convention because of how the Democratic presidential contender dealt with her emails while serving as secretary of state.
Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let the Flynn investigation go, the fired director has said.
Flynn later filed revised financial disclosure forms of payments from three Russian companies with ties to the Kremlin. In addition, he retroactively registered with the Justice Department as a "foreign agent" to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government as late as November 2016.
In Tuesday's filing, Flynn gives details on meeting with FBI investigators near the beginning of the Trump administration.
He didn't have an attorney with him at that time and said there was no warning he could be prosecuted for making false statements, his memo said.
"Even when circumstances later came to light that prompted extensive public debate about the investigation of General Flynn, including revelations that certain FBI officials involved in the January 24 interview of General Flynn were themselves being investigated for misconduct, General Flynn did not back away from accepting responsibility for his actions," the defense team wrote.
They were referring to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI agent Peter Strzok.