Mueller memo denies Flynn was coerced into lying to FBI

Federal prosecutors Friday rejected former national security adviser Michael Flynn's suggestion that he should have been warned of the consequences of lying to the FBI, telling a judge that Flynn's false statements were "voluntary and intentional."

In a memo to the court, prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office said there was no basis for Flynn's implication that he was coerced into lying when he spoke to the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017.

"The interview was voluntary, and lacked any indicia of coercion," the memo says. Flynn was "relaxed and jocular" during the interview session, it adds.

Prosecutors said in the memo that the court should reject Flynn's attempts to downplay the seriousness of his offense but they stuck to the recommendation of a prison term on the low end of the sentencing guidelines, citing his "cooperation and military service."

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Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (L) arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is escorted into a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn (L), former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A man protests outside as Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn (L), former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Security stand outside after Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrived at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to a charge of lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before President Donald Trump took office. He faces up to six months in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 18.

Mueller's office had previously told the court that he should receive little to no jail time due to his "substantial assistance" in the special counsel's Russia probe.

Flynn's team subsequently told the court that Flynn "saw the FBI agents as allies" when they interviewed him at the White House last year. Flynn's lawyers, citing internal FBI documents, noted that officials had made a decision for the agents not to warn their client that lying to the FBI was a crime.

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 16, 2018: Sergei Kislyak, first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, attends a meeting of the Russian Federation Council. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 3, 2018: The first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Committee for International Affairs, Sergei Kislyak during a meeting with US Senators at the Russian Federation Council. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 25, 2018: The first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Committee for International Affairs, Sergei Kislyak attends a meeting of members of the Russian Federation Council's Committee for International Affairs and a delegation of US experts in arms control, at the Russian Federation Council. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 5, 2018: Federation Council members Vladimir Lityushkin (L) and Sergei Kislyak during a plenary meeting of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS (Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 15, 2017: Konstantin Kosachev (L), chairman of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, and Sergei Kislyak, first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, attend a meeting of the Russian Federation Council. Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS (Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak (L) leaves after a reception at St. Regis Hotel July 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. The U.S.-Russia Business Council hosted a farewell reception for the Russian diplomat who will be stepping down as ambassador. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Norway's Ambassador to the United States Kare Aas listens as Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak addresses competitors and observers during a chess tournament at the Russian embassy on May 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak (C) arrives before US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the US, listens as Phebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO of the General Dynamics Corporation, speaks during a meeting of the Economic Club of Washington May 19, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak (R) speaks with others after a foreign policy speech by Republican US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump at the Mayflower Hotel April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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In the memo filed Friday, the prosecutors said Flynn, given his extensive law enforcement experience, should have known better than to lie to federal investigators.

"A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired lieutenant general, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents," the memo says. "He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth."

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