Judge Emmett Sullivan delayed the sentencing of former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday, but not before offering a sharp rebuke of the behavior to which Flynn has admitted.
“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan said, according to CBS News. “The court’s going to consider all that. But I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.”
“I’m going to be frank with you — this crime is very serious,” he added.
Flynn admitted in 2017 to lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government as an unregistered foreign agent working to advance the nation’s agenda without proper disclosure up to November 2016.
Currently, Flynn faces sentencing for charges of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contact he had with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.
In court on Tuesday, Judge Sullivan briefly questioned whether Flynn’s conduct would be tantamount to treason, before walking back his comments and acknowledging that he was incorrect about the timeline of Flynn’s work for the Turkish government and his time in the White House.
Sullivan clarified that he was “not suggesting” that Flynn had committed treason, CNN reported. “I was just trying to determine the benefit and the generosity of the government,” Sullivan added. “Don’t read too much into the questions I ask.”
Flynn was greeted by protesters outside the courthouse after his sentencing was delayed:
Protesters chant as President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, leaves court after a federal judge postponed his sentencing pending updates from both sides in March https://t.co/n35lMHao01 pic.twitter.com/n5lFktRNVd
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 18, 2018
The group could be heard chanted “lock him up,” an apparent play on the chant Flynn led at the 2016 Republican National Convention calling for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to be jailed.