Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday urged a federal judge to reject an attempt by President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn "to minimize the seriousness" of his crime days before his sentencing date.
But Flynn should still receive a light sentence, Mueller added.
Flynn had pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. In a court filing this week, Flynn's lawyers noted that he was interviewed without a lawyer present and was not told in advance that lying to the FBI was a crime.
The special counsel said in its filing Friday afternoon that "nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI."
The filing said that the agents who questioned Flynn gave him multiple opportunities to correct false statements he made, and told him in advance of the meeting that the questions had to do with his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
"The interview was voluntary, and lacked any indicia of coercion," according to Mueller. The filing also noted that Flynn had repeatedly lied about his communications with the Russian official two weeks before sitting down with the FBI.