Former Trump aide Flynn pleads guilty to lying about Russian Federation links

02 December, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington Friday Dec. 1 2017

The significance of today's plea deal by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, in which he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the Special Counsel, can not be overstated. The statement is the first indication that Flynn is cooperating with the special counsel's office.

"Jared Kushner is the "very senior member" of President Donald Trump's transition team" who directed incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.

The sanctions were ordered in response to "aggressive harassment of United States officials and cyber operations aimed at the United States election", Obama said in a statement on December 29, 2016.

He also promised to cooperate with Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Flynn, who served in Donald Trump's administration for just 24 days before being forced to resign for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian Federation contacts, could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Flynn, who was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation just days after Trump's inauguration, was forced to resign in February after White House officials said he had misled them about whether he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. The prosecutors' filing did not name the transition officials.

Flynn also agreed to cooperate with Mueller's probe, which focuses on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible coordination between Russia and Trump's team in the campaign that sent the Republican businessman to the White House.

Flynn is the first Trump White House official to be charged with a crime in connection to Mueller's investigation.

As per the charge sheet, 58-year-old Flynn, a retired general, lied when he told investigators that he did not ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to sanctions that then-president Barack Obama had imposed on Russian Federation, and that he did not ask the ambassador to either delay or defeat a related UN Security Council vote.

The Obama administration, in a rare step that shocked its Middle East ally, planned to abstain on the motion rather than veto it as had been done in the past. In his resignation letter on 13 February, Flynn wrote that "because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador". "It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out", Flynn told the Daily Caller at the time.

"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn".

The opposition Democratic Party was quick to slam Trump.

Flynn was an early and vocal supporter on the campaign trail of President Donald Trump whose business dealings and foreign interactions made him a central focus of Mueller's investigation.

During the Republican National Convention in July 2016, when Trump was officially nominated as the GOP's candidate, Flynn led the entire convention in a repeated chant of "Lock her up!"



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