Updated Dec 18, 2018

Judge postpones Michael Flynn's sentencing

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

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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