A judge has delayed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing after a request that it wait until after the the DOJ inspector general’s report on the launch of the Russia probe is released. The report is set to become public early next month, but not until after the first round of sentencing memos were due for the previously-scheduled Dec. 18 sentencing date.
The order, signed by District Judge Emmet Sullivan, was in response to a joint request filed Tuesday by both the Justice Department and Flynn’s lawyers.
Flynn was set to be sentenced on Dec. 18 after he cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, but that hearing schedule has been vacated until further notice. Flynn was supposed to be sentenced last year, but after a tumultuous sentencing hearing — that his lawyers cut short when it became clear that Flynn might actually get jail time, asking to delay while Flynn continued cooperating — Flynn scrapped his entire legal team. Flynn’s new lawyers are arguing that the government mishandled his case and have been demanding various documents that they say will show prosecutorial misconduct.
The judge has not ruled on the request, but sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, with both sides’ sentencing memos due early next month.
In a new joint request on Tuesday, both Flynn’s lawyer and federal prosecutors asked Sullivan to reschedule his sentencing proceedings partially due to the timing of the release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on his review of the launch of the Russia probe. Citing media reports on the contents of the impending report — which Horowitz is scheduled to release on December 9 — Flynn’s attorney and the DOJ asked Sullivan to hold off on several sentencing deadlines, including the supplemental memo due Monday.
“The parties expect that the report of this investigation will examine topics related to several matters raised by the defendant,” they both wrote.
While the report has not yet been made public, it is expected to criticize some DOJ officials and a low-level FBI lawyer for its handling of the initial surveillance court request to surveil Trump campaign official Carter Page. It was reported last week that the report will outline an FBI’s lawyer’s misconduct when he altered a document related to the surveillance request. Horowitz does not believe, however, that the alteration had any impact on the validity of the surveillance application. While Republicans will likely seize on that aspect of the report, the report is also expected to clear any top DOJ officials of misconduct due to a bias against Trump.
Read the court filing below: