I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.
McCabe was later fired after the Justice Department determined that he "lacked candor" during an investigation into a leak, while Strzok was removed from the Mueller investigation and later fired after it was found that he had disparaged Trump in text messages to another FBI agent with whom he was having an affair.
Flynn arrived at court on Tuesday for a sentencing hearing that has resurrected public debate about Federal Bureau of Investigation actions in the case. Asked if he was pleading guilty because he was guilty, Flynn said yes. But these statements reflect a kind of abiding bias that might well result in reversible error if Flynn's lawyers appeal a sentence he eventually receives from Sullivan.
Prosecutors had recommended no prison time, citing his co-operation. Almost a half-dozen former aides and advisers - including Flynn - have pleaded guilty or agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Flynn's legal woes stem from transition-period calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that raised intelligence community alarms even before Trump took office.
Although Flynn and his attorneys stopped short of any direct accusations of wrongdoing, but they suggested the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which approached Flynn at the White House just days after Trump's inauguration, played to his desire to keep the encounter quiet and as a result kept him from involving a lawyer.
During those conversations, Flynn urged against a strong Russian response to Obama administration sanctions for Russian election interference and encouraged Russia's opposition to a United Nations resolution on Israeli settlements.
[A] rguably, you sold out your country.
But while Sullivan tested those arguments, he was ultimately unmoved and Flynn mostly walked them back. He acknowledged that he indeed knew that lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a crime.
The president's posture toward Flynn stands in stark contrast to his public treatment of another close member of his inner circle who has been netted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election: his one-time personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Sullivan gave Flynn an opportunity to challenge the circumstances and Flynn said "No". "That is not light or easy or something to be tweeted about or made a joke of", he added. The stunning request came after Sullivan warned Flynn that if he were sentenced as scheduled Tuesday, he might not get all the credit for his cooperation with investigators that he is entitled to. The court briefly recessed.
At the hearing, Judge Sullivan told Flynn that he would take into account his extensive co-operation with the government, which includes 19 meetings with investigators as well as a 33-year military career that included service in Iraq and Afghanistan. A status report in the matter is due March 13. He ordered Flynn to stay within 50 miles of the District of Columbia unless he gets permission from the court.