WASHINGTON (CN) – The federal judge who had tough words Tuesday for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn capped off the tumultuous day with strict travel restrictions as a parting gift.
Voicing surprise that such restrictions had not yet been imposed on the former Army general, U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered Flynn to turn over his passport and stay within 50 miles of Washington, D.C., pending sentencing.
Flynn had gone into Sullivan’s court for the very purpose of sentencing Tuesday morning but quickly took the judge up on his offer of a continuance when Sullivan treated the defendant to a public dressing down.
Offering no guarantee that Flynn would escape jail time — as prosecutors had recommended — Sullivan expressed his “disgust” and “disdain” for Flynn’s crimes.
“Arguably you sold your country out,” Sullivan told the former Defense Intelligence Agency director. “The court’s going to consider all that. I cannot assure you that if you proceed today you will not receive a sentence of incarceration.”
Flynn pleaded guilty a year earlier to lying to the FBI, but new revelations of his crimes have emerged as recently as this week. While the general has been prosecuted in Washington, D.C., by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, an indictment unsealed Monday in the Eastern District of Virginia says Flynn’s consultancy accepted lucrative contracts from Turkey to secretly lobby here on that government’s behalf.
Flynn’s attorney Robert Kelner of Covington and Burling indicated Tuesday that Flynn could testify in those proceedings against his former associate Bijan Kian. The Monday indictment also leveled charges against Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish national who is believed to still be at large in Istanbul.
Sullivan’s order on travel restrictions, which are set to take effect on Jan. 4, notes that Flynn has been granted an exception for an international trip, the details of which are not public.
Kian pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Tuesday, and his trial has been set for February.
The indictment details a $600,000 contract Flynn Intel accepted from Alptekin’s shell company, Inovo BV, whose trade group is controlled by the Turkish government, to make “criminal referrals” against Fethullah Gulen, a political enemy of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
Gulen, a cleric and U.S. green card holder, has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania for over a decade. He denies Erdogan’s allegations that he orchestrated an attempted coup of Erdogan’s government in 2016, and the United States has refused requests by Turkey to have Gulen extradited.