Yesterday, former-General Michael Flynn, of “lock her up” fame during the Trump campaign, was supposed to get off with no jail time and probation at his sentencing by Judge Emmet Sullivan in federal court in Washington because of extensive cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

This was the hope and expectation of both Mr. Mueller and Mr. Flynn after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak in 2016. Truth to tell, there was nothing wrong with these contacts other than jumping the gun a bit as Flynn became National Security Adviser only after them.

Enter the folks on the right.

They were spurred on by a weird, and in my opinion ill-advised,  sentencing memorandum by Flynn’s counsel filed on December 11.

In justification of a sentence of probation, the memorandum accepts Flynn’s criminal responsibility but alleges that there are “additional facts regarding the circumstances of the FBI interview…that are relevant to the Court’s consideration of a just punishment.”

According to the memorandum, the “additional facts” about the FBI interview in which he admitted to lying include touting Flynn off White House or his own counsel’s presence at the interview (to which Flynn agreed); and the failure to warn Flynn that lying to the FBI is a felony “because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport” an FBI memo as quoted by the defense suggests.

Instead of facilitating a no-jail sentence this defense filing caused high dudgeon in the halls of Fox News Channel and with Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Strassel in an inept column of December 13 said that the defense’s sentencing memorandum contained “explosive new information” that would expose Mr. Mueller because Judge Sullivan is “wise to the tricks of prosecutors.” It turns out he is wise to the tricks of defense counsel.

“The whole things stinks of entrapment” an enraged Strassel wrote, thus exposing the fact that she does not know what entrapment is.

To suggest that Flynn was unaware of the crime of lying to the FBI unless warned is preposterous in view of his long service.

Surely Flynn also knew that his conversation with Kislyak was overheard by the NSA as all such conversations with diplomats of his rank would be. And it was.

In the end, the judge correctly felt that defense counsel’s suggestion of Flynn’s acknowledged guilt was hollow when considered with allegations of “additional facts” by the defense implying that Flynn was not in fact guilty.

What else would you expect Judge Sullivan to determine?

Thus, Judge Sullivan got defense counsel to state on the record that Flynn was in fact guilty (hello Ms. Strassel?) and did not want to withdraw his plea. The Judge, feeling he had been toyed with by the defense sentencing memorandum and the right wing’s ill-conceived anger on reading it, lit into Flynn, again on the record, in a manner that was surely over the top as the Judge later admitted.

Now the sentencing has been adjourned until March pending further cooperation by Flynn.

The lesson of this adventure by Flynn’s defense, again, in my opinion, is that when you’ve won your case, shut up and sit down. No less than the Special Counsel pleaded for no jail time for Flynn in his sentencing memorandum.  You can’t beat that if you are a defendant.