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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller recommended that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn receive a sentence for lying to the FBI that included no prison time, in a court filing Tuesday that called Flynn’s cooperation “substantial.” The filing indicated that Flynn’s assistance was useful to two investigations besides the Russia probe, but elaboration of his assistance on those yet unknown investigations was redacted.

The filing was a sentencing memo ahead of a sentencing hearing Flynn will have before a federal judge in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Last year, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about communications he had with a Russian official about sanctions during the presidential transition, and Flynn has since been cooperating with Mueller’s probe.

Mueller, noting the credit Flynn deserves for “accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” is now asking the judge to hand down a sentence that “does not impose a term of incarceration.”

The filing included an addendum with some redactions that goes into more specifics about his a cooperation. According to the addendum, Flynn has assisted with two other matters — at least one of them a criminal investigation — besides Mueller’s Russia probe, but those other matters are redacted.

For the Russia investigation, the filing said Flynn provided “content and context” of interactions that the Trump transition team had with Russian officials regarding sanctions that the Obama administration sought to impose at the end of 2016, as well as a vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution about Israel. Both of those matters had been previously referenced in the court filings and hearings for Flynn’s plea last year. Three lines are redacted at the end of the paragraph discussing the sanctions-related communications.

The filing goes on to say that Flynn assisted on another front in the Russia probe, but that that section is redacted.

Flynn sat for 19 interviews with Mueller’s investigators and other offices with the Justice Department, the filing said. It notes that some of the investigations are “ongoing,” so the benefit of Flynn’s assistance “may not be fully realize.” Flynn and prosecutors, however, agreed to move forward with sentencing now because “sufficient information is available to allow the Court to determine the import of the defendant’s assistance to his sentence.”

While praising Flynn’s cooperation, Mueller also called Flynn’s initial false statements to the government “serious.” In addition to the lies he told the FBI in late January, after Trump had been inaugurated and while Flynn was serving in the administration, Flynn also made false statements on forms he submitted to the Justice Department under the Foreign Agent Registration Act about his work for Turkey. As Flynn previously admitted during his plea but was not charged for, he omitted in those March 2017 FARA forms that his Turkish lobbying work was done under the direction of officials for the Republic of Turkey.

Read the memo, which includes a redacted addendum, below:

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The certification of a tight congressional race in the North Carolina has been delayed so that election officials can investigate allegations of voter fraud. Republican Mark Harris is leading the Democratic candidate, Dan McCready, by just 905 votes. The state elections board voted unanimously to hold off on certifying the election Friday, as initially planned, and seven of the nine board members voted to move forward with an investigation.

The allegations concern a number of irregularities with mail-in ballots in Bladen and Robeson Counties, and elections officials have begun collecting affidavits from residents who recalled being approached by people in the lead-up to the election who claimed to be collecting mail-in ballots. The North Carolina State Board of Elections chairman, Democrat Andy Penry, resigned Saturday so that the investigation could continue without “attempts at distraction and obstruction” after concerns were raised by Republicans about Pendry’s tweets, some of which criticized President Trump.

In Texas, an appeals court on Wednesday upheld a prison sentence for a legal permanent resident in the state who voted illegally because she thought having a green card made her eligible to vote. Rosa Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison, and will likely be deported after that.

Texas also saw more action in the litigation over legislative maps that the statehouse drew after the 2010 Census. The case has already been up to the Supreme Court twice, where the justices have ruled generally in favor of Texas while lower courts have on multiple occasions found that the map intentionally sought to disenfranchise minority voters. On Friday, the groups suing Texas filed briefs arguing the state should be placed under so-called “preclearance,” the process, under the Voting Rights Act, under which certain states and jurisdictions with a history of racially discriminatory voting practices must get federal approval for changes to their election policies.

A voting rights group connected to Stacey Abrams, the failed Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, filed a lawsuit last week seeking to overturn the state’s restrictive voting laws. Fair Fight Action is targeting an assortment of tactics — from voter purges, to outdated voter registration records, to the closure of polling places — that make it harder for Georgians, and particularly Georgians of color, to vote. Abrams lost to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who championed many of those laws, by a margin that was just above what would have triggered a run-off, which is required in the state when no candidate in a race gets 50 percent.

The trial in New York over the Trump administration’s efforts to add a census citizenship question came to a close last week, but not without the Justice Department trying one more time to get the judge to delay issuing a ruling in the case before the Supreme Court in February hears arguments over a discovery issue. The Justice Department last Monday evening filed an extraordinary letter “suggest[ing]” the Supreme Court “reconsider” delaying the judge’s post-trial proceedings. The Supreme Court has previously declined to delay the proceedings, with the exception of the Wilbur Ross deposition. Because this letter was not a formal motion, the Supreme Court might choose not to respond at all.

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Michael Cohen’s guilty plea Thursday in a Manhattan courthouse not only revealed that he lied to Congress about his work on a Trump Tower project in Moscow. The plea documents also undercut what President Trump himself has claimed about his business dealings with Russia, particularly during the campaign.

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