Michael Flynn sentencing delayed

By Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 4:08 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018
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11:40 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Judge accepts Michael Flynn's guilty plea

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Judge Emmet Sullivan has now formally accepted Michael Flynn's guilty plea, after spending several minutes revisiting the unusual circumstance of Flynn's interview and his intentions today.

He gave Flynn several outs to rethink his plea, and Flynn asserted several times he is ready to go forward.

Here's how that exchange went:

"I would like to proceed, your honor," Flynn said.
Sullivan asked, "Because you're guilty of this offense?"
"Yes, your honor," Flynn said, nodding.
Sullivan then accepted Flynn's plea.
11:43 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Flynn stands firm on guilty plea under judge's questioning

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

"I do not" seek to withdraw the plea, Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn just told the judge overing seeing his sentencing for lying to the FBI.

Flynn said he is satisfied by his attorney representation, does not want extra time to speak with them, and does not want to speak with another, different attorney before this proceeds.

"Are you continuing to accept responsibility for his false statements?" Judge Emmet Sullivan asked. "I am, your honor," Flynn loudly responded.

Sullivan asks Flynn if he would like to postpone the sentencing, and Flynn says no.

What this means: He is standing firm on his decision to plead guilty to this crime.

11:28 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Flynn: "I was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Judge Emmet Sullivan is reviewing Michael Flynn's acknowledgments that he was wrong in his actions and takes responsibility, and also describes how Flynn made note of the circumstances of the interview in the White House.

Sullivan is walking through what both sides wrote in their pre-sentencing court papers and the FBI memos memorializing Flynn's interview with the FBI. Sullivan reminds the courtroom Flynn says he was "unguarded [at his interview] because he did not receive a warning and was not represented by counsel."

"Mr. Flynn's briefing concerned the court," Sullivan said, and called into question the circumstances of his guilty plea.

"I cannot recall any incident where the court has ever accepted the plea of someone who maintained he was not guilty," Sullivan said.

And now, a procedural moment in most sentencings becomes one of more high tension.

Sullivan will ask him a series of questions to make sure he is ready to plead guilty. Sullivan reminds him he will afford him an opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea if he wants to. Flynn responds he has no concerns about entering his guilty plea.

Then he added: "I was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime when he was interviewed in Jan. 24, 2017, interview, Flynn tells the judge.

11:21 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

The Flynn sentencing hearing has begun

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Michael Flynn's sentencing hearing has now started.

Judge Emmet Sullivan called the case "very unique." Sullivan said he does not want to unintentionally say something during this hearing that should not be on the public record.

He also notes that special counsel Robert Mueller's team filed another filing under seal, a document produced to Flynn previously, earlier this morning. He did not say if that will be made public.

11:09 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Earlier, Trump wished Flynn "good luck" at his sentencing

President Trump tweeted well wishes for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn ahead of this morning's sentencing.

Trump added that it "will be interesting to see what he has to say."

Read his tweet:

What happened Monday night: Trump alleged the FBI determined that day that Flynn hadn't lied. Yet a memo from January 24, 2017, that was released Monday night does not say the FBI agents made any determinations at that time. The memo only outlines what Flynn said in a straightforward manner.

The subsequent criminal complaint, filed by special counsel Robert Mueller's office in December 2017, outlined how Flynn's retelling of the conversations was wrong.

11:07 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Michael Flynn is in the courtroom

President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn is in the courtroom for the start of his sentencing hearing.

Flynn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and at least one other Justice Department probe. That cooperation led other "related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with (Mueller) and cooperate," prosecutors said. They recommended Flynn receive no jail time.

10:30 a.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Michael Flynn will be sentenced today. Here's what to expect.

Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, is scheduled to be sentenced today for lying to the FBI.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office has recommended that Flynn receive no jail time, given that he has accepted responsibility for his actions and cooperated with their investigations.

Flynn has also asked a federal judge to spare him from prison time. Instead, he is asking the judge for probation of less than a year and has offered to do 200 hours of community service.

Some background: Flynn pleaded guilty December 2017 to lying to the FBI about the substance of his calls with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he worked on the Trump presidential transition.

Flynn initially denied — but eventually admitted — that they had discussed sanctions and a United Nations Security Council resolution during the presidential transition.

The saga — including the fact that he had lied to high-ranking administration officials about his contact with Kislyak — led to his early exit from the White House.