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Mueller asks court to schedule Flynn sentencing

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to move forward with the sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, nearly 10 months after he pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his Russia contacts.

The development Monday comes after repeated delays in Flynn's sentencing. 

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“The matter is now ready to be scheduled for sentencing,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote in a joint filing with Flynn’s defense attorneys on Monday. They requested that Judge Emmet D. Sullivan set a date for sentencing, suggesting Nov. 28 or seven business days after that. 

Mueller’s team had previously sought to delay Flynn’s sentencing four times, signaling that his cooperation was still needed in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference. 

The latest development indicates that Mueller believes he has gotten all that he can or needs from Flynn in the nearly 10 months since he admitted to lying to FBI investigators about his Russia contacts. While Mueller will not be precluded from calling Flynn to testify at any forthcoming trials, his sentencing will effectively mark an end to his cooperation in the probe. 

Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to FBI agents in December and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe, which includes exploring whether there was coordination between President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE’s campaign and Moscow. 

Flynn served on Trump’s campaign and briefly in the administration as the president’s national security adviser. He was forced to resign from the post in February 2017, when it was revealed that he misled Vice President Pence and other administration officials about his contacts with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

According to court filings, Flynn lied to FBI investigators about his contacts with Kislyak during a January 2017 interview. 

Flynn is one of several Trump associates who have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in Mueller’s sprawling investigation. On Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFormer FBI agent sentenced to 4 years in jail for leaking to reporter The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan Mueller assembles team of cooperators in Russian probe MORE pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges related to his foreign lobbying efforts and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team as part of his plea agreement.

From the start, Flynn has been viewed as a potentially valuable witness in Mueller’s investigation, given his prominent role on the campaign and brief tenure as national security adviser.

In a July court appearance, Flynn’s lawyers indicated that their client was eager to be sentenced.

Mueller and Flynn’s defense attorneys had asked the court to begin preparations for the presentencing report, to allow for sentencing to move quickly once the government is ready for the court to set a date. 

Mueller last asked the court to delay Flynn’s sentencing in late August, citing the “status” of the ongoing investigation and asking that the next status report be filed on Monday.

In the Monday filing, Mueller's and Flynn’s attorneys also asked that any sentencing memoranda required from them be filed no more than two weeks before the date the judge schedules Flynn’s sentencing hearing.

According to sentencing guidelines, Flynn likely faces a sentence of between zero and six months in prison and a fine between $500 and $9,500 for his crime.