WASHINGTON (CN) – Special counsel Robert Mueller and defense attorneys for Michael Flynn offered something of an ipse dixit justification Monday for their repeated requests to delay sentencing of the onetime national-security adviser to President Donald Trump.
“Although this matter is not ready for sentencing, the parties intend to request that a sentencing hearing be scheduled promptly once the matter becomes ready for sentencing,” the 2-page joint status report states.
Signed by Brandon L. Van Grack with the special counsel’s office and defense attorney Robert Kelner, with the firm Covington & Burling, the status report came after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan noted Friday that the delays in the case thus far “depart from the court’s usual practice of ordering a presentence report.”
Earlier on Friday, the parties had told Sullivan for the second time that Flynn’s case is not ready to be scheduled.
That Friday report pointed “the status of the special counsel’s investigation,” but Sullivan ordered the partied to explain by noon today “why the court should expend the Probation Office’s resources.”
The explanation Monday notes that the government and Flynn do want to begin preparing a presentence investigation report.
“The parties believed this approach would put the court in a position to schedule a sentencing hearing, if the court were to so choose, on a more expedited schedule at such time as the matter becomes ready for sentencing,” the report states.
Regardless of how the court proceeds, the parties said they will provide notice when they are ready to sentence Flynn.
Before requesting the 60-day extension on Friday, the parties submitted a nearly identical status report on May 1 that sought a 60-day extension.
Both are short on details about why the delay is necessary.
Flynn pleaded guilty in November to lying to federal investigators about his December 2016 conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
He has since been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation of Russian election meddling and possible ties between Russia and the trump campaign.
Sullivan set a hearing on the issue for July 10 and ordered Flynn to attend.