(NBC News) A judge has delayed sentencing for former former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Flynn was expecting to be sentenced Tuesday for lying to the FBI, but left court without knowing his fate.

The special counsel's office had recommended no jail time for Flynn because he cooperated with its investigations.

In his plea deal with the special counsel, Flynn waived his right to appeal the sentence, which could include prison.

During Tuesday's hearing Judge Emmet Sullivan gave defense attorneys time to discuss whether or not they really want to go through with sentencing.

Despite the prosecution recommending little to no prison time, the judge said he could not guarantee that he would not send Flynn to prison, and noted the severity of the crime as a factor in his decision.

"You sold your country out," the judge told Flynn, questioning why he wasn't charged with treason for working as an unregistered lobbyist for the Turkish government and lying to the FBI about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

When they returned they asked Judge Sullivan for a postponement in sentencing to allow Flynn to continue cooperating with the special prosecutor's investigation.

The judge agreed to delay sentencing and set a date of March 13th for a status report.

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