As we’ve all been working to piece together what we know about the Mueller investigation, I’m sure there are times when we’ve connected dots that are just coincidences. It is possible to assume too much about this big news that came down yesterday.
NEW: Federal prosecutors and attorneys for Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn have informed the court that they are ready for sentencing.
A date of November 28, 2018 has been proposed or any of the 7 business days thereafter.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) September 17, 2018
For some background, the Mueller team has asked for delays in the sentencing of Michael Flynn on two occasions. The first was at the end of June and then more recently on August 21. That second one came as the jury was deliberating in Manafort’s first trail.
Flynn initially pleaded guilty in December 2017, so it’s reasonable to wonder why it has taken so long to get to this point and why the delays. But this is all we’ve gotten from the special counsel:
“Due to the status of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s Office does not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time,” Mueller’s team wrote in a joint court filing with Flynn’s defense team.
There might be lots of reasons for the delays. But it seems pretty obvious to me that the special counsel didn’t think that Flynn was being sufficiently cooperative. The plea agreement could fall apart if that was the case. So Mueller doesn’t want the sentencing hearing to happen until he is confident that Flynn is giving him the whole story truthfully. With the hearing now scheduled, it’s clear that the special counsel has been assured of that.
Is it possible that Manafort’s decision to flip had an impact on Flynn’s decision to come clean? I don’t know. The timing of all of this could simply be a coincidence. But I doubt it. They’re dropping like flies.