tv Inside Politics CNN December 18, 2018 9:00am-9:59am PST
welcome to inside politics and breaking just this hour, inside a washington courtroom, michael flynn, the president's former national security adviser waiting to find out his fate and if flynn wants to put off the decision. he is warning his crime, lying to the fbi, is a very serious evens. the judge, emmet sullivan made no promises that he would not get jail time even though the prosecutors recommend he not get jail time. pam, inside the courtroom, a lot of drama and the judge asking michael flynn, do you want to withdraw your plea and they
noted he could still be a cooperating witness. >> the judge giving him several outs, citing the circumstances surrounding the interview where the lawyers warped he was not warned about the repercussions and that counsel was not recommended for the interview and now the sentencing seems to be taking off on a different tone with the judge expressing the seriousness of the offense with michael flynn lying on the fbi. shimon is breaking down the new details. >> the judge is not mipsi inwin words, saying the aggravating circumstances are serious. not only did you lie to the fbi, but you lied to senior officials in the incoming administration. he then said all along, you were an unregistered agent of a
foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the united states. that undermines this flag over here, the judge pointing to the flag behind him, arguably he told flynn you told your country out. clearly this is taking on a different tone now. this is still ongoing. we heard a lot about this judge and how he does not hide his opinions. he is very expressive. we are certainly seeing this from this judge here who really, some tough, tough words for michael flynn. we will see how michael flynn responds. michael flynn is standing there and taking this from the judge. >> hearing from that judge, you sold your country out as the national security adviser in the white house. this is a unique case in so many ways. this is the first former white house official to face a
sentencing in the russia probe. michael flynn telling the judge he was aware that lying to the fbi was a crime and he didn't just lie one time. the judge noted this. >> he has and he keeps going on what the judge is saying. the judge told him i am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense. he then took a brief pause and the judge said yes, your honor. flynn responds, yes, your honor. that's basically it. flynn stood there and took this lashing from the judge and went on and on and you could tell this judge is angry. a lot of people are angry for what happened here. many people feel that what michael flynn did here was wrong. he lied. he did things he shouldn't have done. clearly i think the judge is speaking for a lot of people here. the question is what happens now? >> what's his fate going to be?
something that could help him is of course the special counsel's argument that he has been very helpful in the investigations in the various federal probes. he has offered substantial assistance and we saw that play out yesterday, right? >> we did. i think the substantial assistance is what's going to save michael flynn here. the judge said he is going to take that into consideration and he has to. that's the 5 k letter we talked about that was filed by the special counsel and really that's the thing that is going to save him. yes, he is facing up to six months in jail. it could be that the judge does give him jail time here. that certainly would be an astonishing moment. if the judge decides michael flynn could use jail time, that is going to change everything. the whole purpose of his cooperation was to avoid jail time. yes, he was facing exposure and
criminal charges in another criminal case which is also the reason why he chose to plead guilty and cooperate, but if f this judge and we don't know what's going to happen, but if this judge decides to give him jail time, it's going to be a moment. i don't think anyone is expecting that. >> robert mueller's team asked for leniency to not give him jail time. john king leaving us on the edge of our seats saying you sold your country out, lying to the fbi and lying to senior officials in the white house about his conversations with sergei kislyak, the former russian ambassador. the very strong words to the adviser. >> we are now in a recess. the judge has taken a recess. >> a recess? >> the judge took a recess. he said he is going to take the bench back at 12:30. it sounds like the judge has things he wants to think about and he is taking a brief pause. we will be back here around
12:30. >> just for context, we thought it could wrap up relatively quickly given the recommendation from robert mueller's team of no jail time and typically sentencings like this don't drag on, but this is not a regular situation. this is an unusual case. very high profile involving the national security adviser. john? >> stay with us. evan perez is in the courtroom. we should get color from him, too. a dramatic day and we will bring you more before taking this recess, voicing his scorn at michael flynn, directly asking the president's adviser, the highest national official to be sentenced if he believe his conduct rises to the level of treasonous activity. the prosecutor speaking for the special counsel and they said they did not consider charging him with treason.
the judge could he? they would not go there. let's discuss this. with us to share the reporting, cnn legal analyst and cnn's abby philipp, "the washington post" and the veteran white collar defense whose resume includes being the number two to the prosecutor, ken starr. just this judge, we are ending with the judge voicing his scorn. do you think you committed treason? do you understand you were in the white house when you told these lies? you let down your country. after starting the hearing, at the other end of the spectrum. do you think the fbi mistreated you and do you want to withdraw your plea? >> there is a national security side and a legal side. the judge was conveying the gravity of the national security adviser who at the beginning of the administration was working in the white house and affirmatively lied to fbi agents and especially somebody who was
not new to government. he had been the head of an intelligence agency and a long time career intelligence expert with decades of service to the country. i think on one hand the judge was underscoring of gravity of the fact that we have a national security adviser being sentenced in federal court. on the legal side, the defense attorneys made a mistake where they inferred in writing to the judge that perhaps michael flynn didn't understand why he was under obligation not to lie to federal investigators when he was interviewed. they inferred that even though he had already pled guilty to this. i think in that sense, all they had to do was accept the prosecut prosecutor's recommendation that he not be sentenced to jail time.
underscore that and they created drama where they didn't need to create any. >> have you heard of a judge where it's all cooked. the special counsel recommends no jail time. as carrie notes, general flynn's attorneys raised questions to the point where the judge offers him an opportunity to withdraw your plea. i would like to proceed, your honor. judge sullivan said because you are guilty of this offense? yes, michael flynn says. what do you make of this? >> there are a lot of things to make. the judge has clearly been affected by the filing of flynn's attorney. he wants to make it absolutely clear and by a lot of public commentary op seds suggesting that he was guilty and he wants to give flynn every opportunity to withdraw. are you guilty? are you pleading guilty because
you are guilty? that's number one. number two, the judge is not going to ignore the reality that we have a president of the united states who is acting like a mob boss and been continually attacking bob mueller and calling people rats and acting like a mav yoeso. the judge doesn't like that. when he talks about the seriousness of what flynn did and selling your country out, i think he is making a decision not to ignore the larger political reality and saying this is serious. so the idea that his comments have not been affected by the president of the united states and his campaign of vilification, i think it's proper to take that into
consideration of what he publicly said. >> evan perez is in the courtroom as the drama played out. they are asking if he wants to withdraw his plea and he said no, i want to go forward. in the end, confronting michael flynn. do you understand where you were when you told the lies. take us inside the courtroom. >> john, look. i think everybody in the courtroom was simply stunned the way the judge approached this because when you have prosecutors recommending no prison time, you have the defense agreeing that the prosecutors are describing how much cooperation that flynn has given. valuable cooperation. the judge simply is not buying that michael flynn is accepting full responsibility for this. he simply goes into the offenses that michael flynn pleaded guilty to including the fact that he was an unregistered foreign agent during the time that he was serving and the
judge turned to the flag sitting there right next to the judge. he said arguably this goes against everything that this flag stands for. he said arguably you told your country out and he said i cannot height my disdain and disgust for what michael flynn has done. i can tell you mike flynn and his lawyers, you can see them becoming very uncomfortable as the judge went into a tirade about what michael flynn pleaded guilty to. he mentioned the fact that michael flynn lied to fbi agents in the white house while he was serving as a senior official in the government. again, the judge repeatedly saying this is a very serious offense and essentially taking a break. the court is in recess for about 30 minutes while the judge contemplates what he is going to do. not the way we thought today was
going to go. i have been to sentencings before and when the two sides are in agreement, the judge usually goes along with what the sides are saying. today judge sullivan is not doing exactly that. >> stick with that for a minute. the judge decides he wants time to go think about this in private after being clear how unhappy he is in the presence in that courtroom. take us to the moment where he is looking at michael flynn asking him if he thinks he is guilty. the special counsel said they never considered charging michael flynn for treason. that's high drama. >> that is high drama. you can see michael flynn taken aback by the judge in that exact moment. his lawyers are all looking at each other. it is a moment of high drama, not something you normally see in a situation like this. i can tell you flynn himself, if you spent any time with michael flynn, you know he is a very,
very sure person. sure of himself. perhaps a little bit arrogant, people would say. today he spoke so quietly, you could almost in the beginning you couldn't hear him. certainly when the judge was asking him questions, he said yes, your honor. yes, your honor. being very, very polite. what you would expect, frankly. as he was reading the judge's tenor in court, i think he saw exactly how angry this judge was and he was going to play it exactly that you would expect. polite, yes, your honor. yes, your honor. arrogance would not be something that would be welcome in this courtroom today. >> this is a legal proceeding that is wrapped in politics, including the president of the united states tweeting good luck to general flynn. the president and his allies making the case that he was entrapped and the fbi duped him.
the judge asked that question directly to him. take us inside that moment when the judge said did you understand when you sat down for the interview that lying to the fbi is a crime. >> exactly. the judge asked him, did he understand that lying to the fbi was a crime. he said yes, your honor. the two lawyers were standing next to him and he asked whether he thought he was entrapped. the lawyers are saying no, he did not feel entrapped. this goes back to a court filing that the defense made a few days ago in which they raised the s of michael flynn's interview and the fact that the fbi came in and didn't give him warnings about lying to the fbi. michael flynn was unguarded and he raised the question and said you were unguarded. does that mean thaw didn't know lying to the fbi was a crime? again, michael flynn repeatedly
said he accepted responsibility for making those false statements as well as saying he wanted to complete guilty today. the judge, i think this 30-minute delay was partially to give mike flynn one more chance whether he wants to back out of the plea agreement and whether he wants to fight it. i think once the judge gives a sentence, there is no turning back. i think he is giving mike flynn every opportunity. based on the fact that that court filing from a few days ago seemed to raise doubts in the mind of the judge, he is giving him a little more time to think about this again before he issues a sentence. >> moments away from hearing from the judge who clearly voicing his scorn at the defendant, will the judge accept the recommendation that michael flynn get no jail time. we will take a quick break and be right back with this major breaking news story.
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>> the skbr calling a recess in the sentencing with the security adviser charged with lying about contacts with russia and the hearing turned tense and asking michael flynn if he thought his conduct was treasonous. pam brown is there and as we prepare for the judge to come back in, he wanted to take time for himself and give mike flynn time to think things over. >> to be clear, this is not how we thought the sentencing would play out. it appeared both sides were in agreement in terms of sentencing for michael flynn, but the judge really gave michael flynn a scolding in the courtroom and the tone shifted. i want to talk to evan perez who was inside the courtroom. it appears the judge was
concerned about flynn's lawyers's argument and the circumstances surrounding the fbi interview what was the context surrounding that? >> we talked about this when the defense filing was made. all you needed was two sentences. one said we agree with zero time in prison. secondly, here are the recommendation letters. you provide a recommendation letter and people saying how good you are and something for the judge to consider and say thank you, your honor, i'm done. instead what the defense did was file a bunch of stuff that had nothing to do with pleading guilty. it raised concerns. it raised questions in our minds certainly that what they were trying to say was that flynn was tricked into making those false statements to the fbi. you heard that from the judge. the judge said it raised concern in his mind as to what exactly flynn was saying. was he tricked into this and was
he not really pleading guilty? was he not taking full responsibility and one of the things he did was he brought the prosecutors up to talk about that. he said do you believe that this filing takes away from the credit he should receive for accepting responsibility? that's one thing he raised with the prosecutors. >> i wonder if we have a sentence today. it seems the judge is giving michael flynn an out to say i don't have in front of me your entire cooperation. special counsel has come in and said he is continuing to cooperate. we have yet to learn how much more help he can be to the government. what the judge could be doing is say hey, you may want to wait until i know the extent of your full cooperation. he may be signalling to the flynn folks, you may not want to do this today. >> there is irony in that. this is the second judge to take this over.
the first recused himself. one of the things he did when he took over is started prodding them saying when are we going to have a sentencing? some of the timeline was because of him and he wanted to know what was going on. there is great irony in that and the second part of that is this judge that i think that's where everything shifted in the courtroom. at the moment where he said look, you might want to wait until the government can tell me fully that you finished your cooperation because then i think it's the first time anybody in the courtroom got the idea that maybe he is not ready for sentencing. >> they knew, too. the family members were smiling and there was a sense of relief that finally it's sentencing day and we can put this behind us. the mood shifted in the courtroom and you watched it play out. >> for really did. he has a huge family.
he comes from a very big family in rhode island. probably about a dozen family members in the courtroom. everybody was in a pretty good mood. you saw them at the beginning and then everything changed. >> you hear the words treason from the judge. you sold your country out, talking directly to michael flynn, the president's former national security adviser. this judge keeping us on the edge of our seats as we await to learn the fate of michael flynn. as shimon pointed out, we may not find out today. it is unclear as this judge took a recess, giving both sides time to think. high drama inside that courtroom. john? >> pam, evan, and shimon, thank you. the judge moments away from resuming the hearing. was he sending a signal and saying based on everything i know, i might send you to prison. maybe you want to delay this until we see the full extent of the cooperation. the prosecutor said it remains a
possibility that general flynn is continuing to cooperate with the government. also in the sentencing memo, he has been cooperating and pretty quickly early on when he realized he was caught in a lie and since then he has been cooperating. we know two business partners were indicted, but what else? there is no way and correct me if i'm wrong, but he will say no jail time just for testimony with the other lobbyists. >> absolutely not and with the memoranda, they rcredited him with giving cooperation even before they talked about charging him and it forced other people to decide if they want to cooperate, too. you see they credit him for helping on three investigations at least. one of those is the one that we were talking about yesterday with his business associates being charged. they said helping with the trump transition team members and conversations and communications with russians.
there is an entire section that is redacted that we don't know what that says. it's not a short redaction. that is another piece of what he is cooperating on that we don't know what that is or how significance that is. under the banner of how he is helping the special counsel. there is a leg of this that we don't know whats. >> what was the russian meddling and was there coordination with the trump campaign and the contacts with russians. robert mueller farmed out so many other things, but one of the mysteries, we will take a break and the hearing about to resume any second. he called a time out. the next question, will he sentence flynn today or will there be another delay? ♪ there's no place like home ♪
welcome back to our breaking news coverage. michael flynn back in a federal courtroom waiting for the judge to resume the proceedings. that due to begin any second now. the judge there presumably to sentence michael flynn, but he called a recess in the proceedings and wanted to give michael flynn more time about whether he wanted to be sentenced today or wait until his cooperation with the special counsel is completed.
i want to read, and julie, to you first. the more you assist the government, the more you help yourself at the time of sentencing. do you read that as the judge saying based on everything i know right now, i might put you in prison despite what the special counsel recommends. do you want to wait and come back at a later date and convince me i shouldn't do that? >> i'm only hearing that one line and i don't know the full context, but it might very well be what the judge is trying to say. mueller made it clear in the filing that he's done enough cooperating for the judge to assess it. he also made it clear that he is continuing too cooperate. number one, the judge's comments about treason are done for effect, but it's ludicrous to suggest that flynn is guilty of treason or could be changed. number two, the lawyers have taken a lot of hits for the
filing that they did. i think that obviously in retrospect, it was a mistake and it was partly a mistake because of the furor is caused in the conservative press which again, the judge is responding to. the editorial and the "wall street journal" that said it was entrapment which it clearly was not. sentencing lawyers do this all the time. they file memos and even with client who is are cooperating, there are mitigating circumstances and they can say in the case with full cooperation, there are things the government did that we think you should know about. that's what his not without reason. and sleazy things that were done by andrew mccabe and the fbi by setting up the interview.
was he entrapped? absolutely not. was he set up in that he didn't know there would be questions about russia? absolutely not, but he couldn't refuse to be interview and he lied to the vice president. his choice was either to continue his lie by lying to the fbi which is a crime or to admit that he had been lying to flynn which would have been leak and he would have been out the door. has he committed a crime? absolutely. as he submitted a crime with respect to turk he? absolutely. the lawyers were trying to say look at what the government did. it's sleazy. and it backfired. >> it's remarkable to see how the judge proceeds and whether he asks general flynn, do you want to delay this? to that point he is make being this, the judge starts by saying if you think you were mistre
mistreated, why don't you withdraw your plea? he said no, no, no. i want to go forward. >> you were an unregistered agent while serving the president of the united states. that under mines everything this flag stands for. you sold your country out. i'm not hiding my disgust and disdain. it's hard to listen to a judge say that and is that judge going to accept the recommendation from the special counsel to let him walk? >> it's definitely strong language, but the judge has gone further than he should have with the language about treason. i agree with the prior. there is no other information in this case that indicates treason was ever any kind of crime. you have to levy war and provide aid and comfort to the enemy. treason was not a factor and for him to raise that is rather inflammatory. it seems like the judge is honing in on the gravity of michael flynn as national security adviser and lying to
federal agency. his lawyers did make a mistake and they inferred he was somehow and department understand the circumstan circumstances with the fbi. he pled guilty. this should have been a straight forward hearing. all they had to do was say we accept the prosecution of zero jail time and here are the things he had done to that mi mitigate and they should have been done by now. they raised issues that didn't need to be raise and they made the judge look behind the actual interview by releasing the summary of the investigative interview and that was exculpatory and shows there was no bad behavior and michael flynn knew what he was doing. >> and it shows to bringents ab flynn as done that put the lie to what the president has been saying. it all sort of conspires to
really show that president trump is nervous for a reason. this has gotten close to him. this is a person who was the national security adviser. not just a top aide, but those in charge of the sensitive information and sensitive operations of the administration when he was coming in as president. he has now been shown to have been doing exactly what prosecutors said he was doing. >> and yet the prosecutors said michael flynn said he gave most of his cooperation and this is redacted portion about the substance of the cooperation that we don't know about and something do with the mueller-russia cooperation and the president of the united states treats michael flynn the polar opposite. saying michael cohen is a rat and he's weak. just this morning the president tweeting about michael flynn. good luck today in court. it will be interesting to see what he has to say despite the
pressure put on him about collusion. flynn has been cooperating for more than a year. why did he hug flynn and hug cohen? >> we should be paying close tension him as we learn more about what's in the redacted section. the president has treated him with kid gloves and not just since he was charged with this, but from the moment that the president fired michael flynn from his job as national security adviser, he gave a press conference and spent the time defending michael flynn from the charges that he lied to the vice president. why? what is it about the circumstances around the situation that the president continuously wants to protect flynn from what he might be facing and put flynn in a tough spot. the president is alleging he has been tricked and flynn had to answer for that in court today and refute what the president has been claim being him all morning. the president is not helping michael flynn right now.
in fact could be hurting him. could be making this more difficult for him. president trump is seemingly opening the door to a possibility that perhaps he is sending signals to yet another person. what are the signals and what do they mean? >> michael flynn contradicting the president, saying he knew it was wrong to lie to the fbi. we will take a quick break. the hearing has not resumed. the judge said he was coming back at 12:30 and he is 11 minutes late. we expect it to begin at any moment now. we'll be right back.
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the breaking news this hour, michael flynn's sentencing or what was supposed to be a hearing resumed. in washington, d.c., about a 40 minute break and the judge wanted time to consider his thoughts and wanted michael flynn to consider whether he wanted to proceed. i understand the judge had more questions. >> that's right. the judge also was clarifying some of the remarks he made earlier as you recall. he raised the question of treason, asking mueller's prosecutor whether they had ever weighed charging him with treason. now the judge appears to be -- i want to bring in shimon to fill us in. >> you wonder if the judge went back and realized some of what he said and the response of some of those in the media. the judge is walking back a lot of what he said. the treason thing and the other thing the judge brought up said he made a statement about
mr. flynn acting as a foreign agent in the white house. the judge then said that's incorrect. the prosecutors -- >> because he was acting as a foreign agent? >> during the campaign. we knew the wild card was the judge. we are seeing that here. the judge is known for being outspoken and saying things off the bench. now he is having to walk back what he said. the treason thing, he is trying to say now the judge is saying i'm not suggesting flynn committed treason. i'm just trying to determine the judge said, the benefit and the generosity of the government. don't read too much into the questions. >> you wonder what went through his mind in the recess to come back out and say don't read too much into that. of course if he's going raise treason in that courtroom and point to the american flag, that was high drama. >> we're expect this to go one
way and it's going a different way, but maybe now going back to the way it was supposed to go. lots of wild cards and high drama. really the prosecutors here. you are seeing an effort to try to protect michael flynn. they told the judge they had no concern or no reason to think flynn obviously is by our folks in the courtroom. the judge walking this back. certainly back pedalling and let's see what happens as this goes. his attorneys are now speaking. michael flynn's attorneys are now talking. >> it's to say neither side expect it to go the way it was going. it was anticipated that this would wrap up quickly.
mueller's team asked for no jail time. flynn and his defense attorneys agreed with that. this judge is certainly keeping us in suspense in terms of what he's going to do. what are we learning about flip's cooperation? as we know, shimon, flynn had 19 proper sessions with robert mueller's team, which is a lot for a cooperating witness. does that end today or does it continue? >> prosecutors say it's possible that his cooperation would continue. the judge said maybe we should delay the sentencing. usually in cases where you are sentencing someone who is cooperating with the government, you wait until the government is completely done with that person's cooperation. then you go ahead and sentence him and you can tell the judge this is how the person helped me. flynn's case, they could have waited. >> why didn't they? >> i don't know. there was never really an explanation of why they decided to say okay, he's ready to be
sentenced. maybe the court was putting pressure on them or the special counsel was trying to wrap up and they know the cases will continue. i think things calmed down a little bit and his attorneys are trying to bring more back to calm things down and they are talking to the judge about why they chose to talk about what they did in the filing. about whether or not he was tricked. they are arguing that michael flynn accepts responsibility and what he did. that's where we are going at this point. >> they want it to wrap up today and want this to be done. it's still an open question. >> the judge just asked the attorney, do you want to delay sentencing right now. we don't have an answer yet. there is something that is really i find so fascinating
here. this judge keeps wanting to delay this. how many times now? we have heard the judge say are you ready to go do this today? >> this judge, emmet sullivan appointed by bush, reagan, and clinton, the wild card in the proceedings today. >> shimon and pam, stay with us and come back as we get more information. perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. disruption and detours are the order of the day in the age of trump. the judge keeps asking michael flynn, are you sure? are you sure? the judge called and scheduled a hearing. he said yes, he wanted to be there. what's going on? >> part is the issues they raised in the pleadings within the last several days and just last night, the judge ordered the release of the interviewed transcripts. they introduced all of this uncertainty and then the hearing was previously scheduled for today. he is making sure and giving
michael flynn the opportunity to plea. that's not in michael flynn's interest. they did not charge him with as much as they could have. they probably could have charged him with more acts of false statements and they charged him with one count and recommended no jail time. all they had to do was say yes, we agree with the government. they raised all these issues and the judge can't ignore them. he has to deal with what is in front of him. >> we have new information from the judge. let's go back to pam. >> all right, john. we are learning about flynn's team's response to the judge's suggestion of delaying the sentencing. shimon? >> here we go. the attorney, they say they see what's going on. they can read it and feel it and they sense that perhaps michael flynn is about to get jail time
here. they are now basically saying, well, judge, we are prepared to take your honor up on his suggestion of delaying the sentence. it doesn't mean they are asking for the delay. they are saying if this is something you want to do, let's talk about it and have a discussion about it. they have not officially asked him, but they are saying. i am now being told, they are asking the judge to delay sentencing. >> this is significant. for context, both sides, they thought they would go in today and michael flynn would likely be given no jail time because that was the recommendation from robert mueller's team and that would be a done deal. we are learning that michael flynn's attorney is saying look, we are prepared to delay this because they are hearing what the judge has been saying, questioning the circumstances
surrounding their allegations about the fbi interview and giving michael flynn multiple outs to withdraw his plea and pointing to the american flag and saying you arguably sold your country out. they are feeling all of this. >> the delay is because he is still cooperating in the case in eastern virginia here about lobbying work that associates of michael flynn were involved in. he is cooperating in that case. i think what the judge is trying to say, if you come to me and explain to me more about your cooperation in this other case, i may be more lean i don't want to you. i think there is a sense that michael flynn is in trouble here. >> there is a sense and the prosecutors have agreed to this. they agreed to the delay in this sentencing. again, this all has to do with michael flynn's cooperation and continuing cooperation which of course raises the question, shimon, of why the sentencing was even scheduled for today.
before that cooperation. >> i think the filings from the attorneys certainly concerned for michael flynn's attorneys and concerned the judge. he made that clear and the fact that the judge is saying your cooperation is still ongoing, something irked this judge, clearly. he is concerned probably with the leniency that the government may be showing michael flynn and maybe he is not seeing enough in front of him to say i'm not prepared to say you don't deserve any jail time in this case. >> the judge saying he was disgusted by the lies. michael flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi. his conversations with sergei kislyak and bringing up the fact that he lied in conversations and lied to the fbi about the resolution votes. we are just waiting for more updates here. john king of course. we will number minute to minute updates as we get them. this is an active fluid
situation. not as we expected this to go. >> perhaps we should expect the unexpect and stunning developments. correct me for taking the hint from the judge, but you want to delay this. in part of the conversations, emmet sullivan brought up the comparison from the papadopoulos to other cases. the sentencing has been delayed and michael flynn was supposed to be sentenced today and his lawyers accepted the hint that it be delayed. the judge wants to see the full extent of his cooperation, a clear indication that he was prepared to send michael flynn to prison if he wanted to go ahead with it. the judge talking about the papadopoulos and van der swan cases where both of those defendants convicted of lying served prison time. short prison time, but the judge was saying you were the national security adviser to the
president of the united states. how do they go to jail and you don't? yes, there is a virginia case with the partner who is have been charged with not filing the right paperwork, but the redacted part of the mueller investigation about russia, my clear hint is the judge wants to know what is that about? what's the fruit that is redacted before i decide you don't go to prison? >> the judge saw what's redact and received the information of the full scope of his cooperation. the judge has in front of him even though we don't know, more of the information regarding what michael flynn was cooperating about. in all aspects, on the point of the comparisons to the other two individuals that did actually serve jail time. there could be an aspect to the consideration of why does the more senior experienced person get off free and the two low
level guys supposedly would be the argument. one was a lawyer in private practice and one was a low level campaign aide on the national security advisory team, a small team, and so there might be some perspective that michael flynn was going to be sentence saidd week or two or symbolic jail time. the lawyers raised a lot of issues and made a bit of a mess of it where they could have accepted the prosecutor's recommendation and all of the information that they provided to the judge regarding michael flynn's lifetime of service should have been enough to and in addition his cooperation, go ahead with the prosecutor's recommendation. >> the hearing is now over. michael flynn wanted to close the chapter and move on with his life. clearly took to him that would include prison time unless he agreed to delay it.
this stays open and we are looking at the context of michael flynn, the highest ranking official charged by robert mueller and this investigation is expanding, not contracting. >> and the president is still dealing with the question of whether he is going to be interviewed by mueller and questions that haven't been resolved in terms of his own cooperation. to have this continuing to hangover him at a time when there is a lot of anxiety about what shoe is to drop. he has a few other things on his mind and part of what he was tweet being was wanting to have closu closure. >> the argument the president has been making contradicted by his national security adviser. >> that are doesn't put him in a good space and had trump not say anything, it might have been gone better for him at the end. this would have been open and shut and the president and his allies inserting themselves in the conversation.
stay tuned. >> a remarkable twist in the constant twists. we will learn more information. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great afternoon. >> live from cnn's washington headquarters and we begin with breaking news. a surprise twist in the sentencing of fired national security adviser michael flynn. the judge in this case, judge sullivan agreeing to delay the sentencing. special prosecutor robert mueller's team is asking them to go easy on flynn and recommended a sentence of little or no jail time. flynn's lawyer has taken the judge up on his offer of a delay in sentencing so that flynn can continue to cooperate. i want to bring in senior white house correspondent pamela