'You Sold Your Country Out': Judge Rips Into Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn -- the former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump -- received an almighty dressing down at his sentencing for lying to the FBI on Tuesday.
Flynn, who served in the White House for a little over a month in 2017, pleaded guilty to the felony charge of lying to federal investigators late last year, over conversations he had with Russia's ambassador.
US District Judge Emmet Sullivan granted a delay in sentencing, but not before strongly rebuking the retired three-star general.
"You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as national security adviser to the president," Sullivan told him, referring to Flynn's links to the Turkish government, and his late registration as a foreign agent with the Justice Department.
"Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out.
"I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain, for this criminal offence."
After a recess, Sullivan backtracked slightly, apologising for suggesting that Flynn was an unregistered foreign agent in the White House.
"I feel terrible about that. I'm not suggesting he committed treason," he said.
Flynn is potentially facing up to six months in prison, but won't be sentenced until next year. A hearing is scheduled for March 13.
Flynn's failure to register as a foreign agent was a felony that might have carried a 10-year sentence, reports CBS. But prosecutor Brand Van Grack told Sullivan that Flynn had provided substantial evidence that assisted in the indictment of his former business associates, both of whom were charged with crimes connected to acting as unregistered agents of the Turkish government.
Hours earlier, Trump wished his former campaign adviser and one-time national security adviser "good luck", noting that it "will be interesting to see what he has to say."
Flynn became one of the first Republicans to join in the Trump crowd chants of "lock her up", referring to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
As Flynn exited the building on Tuesday, crowds gathered outside.
"Lock him up," they chanted. "Lock him up."
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org