Federal judge restricts travel of ex-Trump official Michael Flynn after lashing him at hearing

  • Judge Emmet Sullivan issued travel restrictions on Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security advisor.
  • That came hours after the federal judge told Flynn "arguably you sold your country out" — and suggested the retired Army lieutenant general could face prison if a sentencing proceeded as scheduled on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The judge also ordered Flynn to surrender his passport, and to check with the court if he wants to travel more than 50 miles from Washington, D.C.

An already ticked off federal judge on Tuesday slapped Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security advisor, with restrictions on his travel as he awaits sentencing.

Judge Emmet Sullivan's order came hours after he told Flynn "arguably you sold your country out" — and suggested the retired Army lieutenant general could face prison if a sentencing proceeded as scheduled on Tuesday afternoon.

Sullivan, noting that he had just learned that Flynn had not previously had his travel restricted, ordered the former Trump official to stay within 50 miles of Washington, D.C. from now on.

The judge also ordered Flynn to surrender his passport, adding, "To the extent the defendant wishes to travel outside that area, he is directed to file a motion seeking leave of Court."

The judge further wrote that Flynn's already planned international travel is approved, without revealing Flynn's destination or destinations. The travel restriction order takes effect Jan. 4.

Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, walks out of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a status hearing July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson | Getty Images
Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, walks out of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a status hearing July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

The travel and passport restrictions are standard for defendants in Washington federal court who have been released, as Flynn has, pending trial or sentencing without having to post bail.

''The Court has learned no pretrial travel restrictions were imposed in this case,'' Sullivan wrote in his order.

No date has been set yet to resume the sentencing of Flynn, which was aborted abruptly on Tuesday. Flynn's lawyers and prosecutors from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller had been set to argue he receive no jail time or very little time for his admitted crime of lying to FBI agents in early 2017.

But those plans fell apart when Sullivan blasted Flynn for his conduct and said he might well send him to jail for longer than either the defense or prosecution wanted. The judge excoriated Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's then-ambassador to the US, between the 2016 presidential election and Trump's inauguration

Sullivan also threw a lifeline to Flynn by offering him the option of postponing the sentencing until after he truly is done cooperating with Mueller's ongoing probes. Flynn's lawyers accepted that reprieve, noting that Flynn might help federal prosecutors in Virginia with a new case unsealed Monday.

In that case, two former Flynn associates are accused of conspiring with him and the government of Turkey to influence American politicians about the status of a Turkish cleric who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania.

Flynn, without registering as a foreign agent as required by law, had pushed for the extradition of that cleric, Fethullah Gulen, to Turkey, whose president has accused him of backing a botched coup.