On Tuesday, special counsel Robert Mueller filed a court memo requesting Michael Flynn serve a minimum sentence that does “not impose a term of incarceration,” according to the Washington Post. The move comes thanks to Flynn’s “substantial assistance and other considerations” after the former national security adviser cooperated with the special counsel’s office.
While the court filing confirms that Flynn provided extensive information to aid Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation, an addendum attached details of the information Flynn supplied. It’s significantly redacted, with whole subsections blacked out—and an entirely separate criminal investigation blacked out from the public document.
“[Flynn’s] early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the SCO [special counsel’s office],” the filing reads. “Additionally, the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the SCO and cooperate.”
It didn’t take long for the redacted sections to hit Twitter. They raise more questions than answers about the Russia investigation—and whether President Donald Trump himself is being investigated.
BREAKING: Michael Flynn had 19 interviews with the special counsel's office, per the office, which says criminal investigation is ongoing in heavily redacted filing. pic.twitter.com/BkXtzdnyqv
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 5, 2018
You don’t need to be able to read the redacted stuff ——————————
to know that Mueller recommending no hard time due to Flynn’s “assistance” is *very* bad for Trump.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 5, 2018
It didn’t take long for Twitter to do what it does best: make memes about the redacted info. The black bars look like a work of art.
Magnificent. The influences from Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg are striking, while there's a clear touch of Roy Lichtenstein. A pop art masterpiece. pic.twitter.com/CylCfFdmJ8
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 5, 2018
Or maybe it’s an American flag. That would be oddly fitting for 2018.
I think that may be a violation of flag etiquette.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) December 5, 2018
Meanwhile, others think it looks like jail cell bars.
The cool thing about the new Mike Flynn sentencing memo is that if you turn it sideways, it looks like Don Jr.'s future home (a prison cell). pic.twitter.com/VwuHcuSqQ9
— Politidope (@Politidope) December 5, 2018
Or maybe it’s OutKast’s Stankonia?
Album cover he's referring to. pic.twitter.com/NS3qkBJ188
— Jacob (@_Converter_) December 5, 2018
In conclusion, there are (probably) crimes in the redacted sections.
- Trump impeachment: Here are the odds Trump leaves office early
- Understanding the 25th Amendment, the unlikely path to removing Trump from office
- The best political fact-checking sites on the internet
Flynn awaits sentencing later this month. Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort reportedly lied to the special counsel’s office after cooperating with the investigation. While Mueller recommends Flynn receive a relatively light sentence, Manafort’s breached plea deal suggests he may face a much harsher sentence for his role in the investigation.