President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not need to be warned against lying to the FBI and does not deserve sentencing leniency because he received no warning, U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing Friday.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, cited Flynn's senior posts in government in pushing back against Flynn's assertion that the lack of a warning should be a mitigating factor in his sentencing Tuesday.
"A sitting National Security Adviser, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents," Mueller's office said in the court filing. "He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth."
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about the nature of his conversations with Russia's then-ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, just weeks before Trump took office.
Earlier this week, the judge in Flynn's case ordered Mueller to turn over documents related to the FBI interview of Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.
The judge's order followed a disclosure by Flynn's lawyers that the FBI agents did not warn Flynn that lying to the FBI was a crime and that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had told Flynn the "quickest way" to conduct the interview was without anyone else like the White House counsel present.