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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A federal judge suggested during a sentencing hearing Tuesday that Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser and a retired three-star general, sold out his country.

The big picture: Flynn, who requested his sentencing be delayed until his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller is complete, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI in January 2017 about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. When he pleaded guilty, he also admitted that some of his lobbying work was done on behalf of the Turkish government, which he had long denied.

On Monday, Mueller's office released redacted notes of the FBI's interview with Flynn, revealing what exactly the former national security adviser lied about.

  • Flynn told the FBI that in his conversations with Kislyak during the presidential transition, he did not attempt to influence Russia's vote on a UN Security Council resolution concerning Israeli settlements. He admitted in his charging document in Mueller's case that a senior member of the Trump transition team directed him to contact Kislyak to learn where Russia stood and urge them to vote against the resolution.
  • Flynn also told the FBI that he did not ask Kislyak to refrain from escalating tensions in response to steps taken by Barack Obama over Moscow's election meddling, which included expelling alleged Russian spies and closing two Russian diplomatic compounds in the U.S. Flynn later admitted that, acting on behalf of a senior member of Trump's transition team, he contacted Kislyak to ask that Russia show restraint. Vladimir Putin ultimately elected not to escalate the situation, a move Trump called "very smart."

Though he admitted to violating lobbying laws by failing to register as a foreign agent on behalf of Turkey for hundreds of thousands of dollars of consulting work, Flynn was not charged for those crimes and has attempted to receive leniency from the Mueller investigation by offering extensive cooperation. Two of his former business associates have now been indicted for their work on Turkey.

  • On Election Day in 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed in The Hill criticizing cleric Fethullah Gulen, an enemy of Turkey's president living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, as a "radical Islamist" and "shady Islamic mullah." The Wall Street Journal later reported that Flynn and his son twice met with Turkish representatives to discuss kidnapping Gulen and forcibly extraditing him to Turkey.

Go deeper: The number that scares Trump

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.