Michael T. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, had cooperated with the special counsel, but in asking for leniency, he stoked an unfounded theory about potential evidence he did not lie to investigators.
President Trump’s former national security adviser will be sentenced next week after admitting he lied to the F.B.I. when he was questioned in the Russia investigation.
The sentencing memos suggest the possibility that Trump and perhaps others were involved in a series of lies from Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has referred back to prosecutors in Virginia a case that once ensnared President Trump’s former national security adviser.
The special counsel says President Trump’s former national security adviser has provided “substantial assistance” and deserves a light sentence.
Mr. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential transition.
As a businessman, candidate and president, Mr. Trump has demanded loyalty of advisers, including an embrace of his habitual boasts, misstatements and outright falsehoods.
Lawyers for Manafort and Trump engaged in a brazen violation of criminal defense norms. The move could pay off, or it could blow up spectacularly.
President Trump called the investigation a “Phony Witch Hunt.” Prosecutors say his former campaign chairman lied to investigators, breaching a plea deal agreement.