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Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Lawyers for former national security advisor Michael Flynn asked a federal judge to delay his sentencing until his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's team is complete — setting the next status report on his sentencing for March 13 — during a heated appearance in D.C. federal court on Tuesday.

The big picture: Earlier this month, Mueller recommended no prison time for Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump’s inauguration, because of his "substantial assistance" to Mueller's investigation.

Details: During the hearing, Flynn refused an opportunity provided by Judge Emmet Sullivan to withdraw his guilty plea after his attorneys claimed in their own sentencing memo filed last week that he was misled about the circumstances of his 2017 interview with the FBI. Flynn instead told the judge he was "aware" that lying to the FBI was a crime.

  • A prosecutor on Mueller's team told Sullivan that it "remains a possibility" that Flynn is still working with the special counsel's investigation, though he has provided the "vast majority" of his cooperation.
  • Sullivan blasted Flynn from the bench during the hearing: "This is a very serious offense. A high-ranking senior official of the government making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House." He later admonished him for his lobbying work for Turkey, saying, "Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out." Sullivan also asked the prosecutor whether they had considered charging Flynn with treason.
  • The hearing took an unexpected 25-minute recess after Flynn requested time to speak to his attorney following Sullivan's heated remarks.

After the recess, Sullivan said he "felt terrible" about his testy remarks about Flynn's work with Turkey, which he clarified ended before Flynn became Trump's national security adviser. He added, "I'm not suggesting he committed treason. ... Don’t read too much into the questions I asked."

Go deeper: Mueller investigation releases redacted Michael Flynn interview notes

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
4 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

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