Former Trump Adviser Flynn Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI

Dec 02, 2017, 00:54
Former Trump Adviser Flynn Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI

A source closed to President Donald Trump said the latest developments surrounding his former national security advisor Michael Flynn are "very, very, very bad," according to NBC News.

Flynn is cooperating with investigators in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. According to a court filing, Flynn said that a "very senior member" of the presidential transition team asked Flynn on December 22 to contact officials to help delay or defeat a United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlement policies.

With his guilty plea, Flynn became the first person who worked in the Trump White House to admit guilt as part of a broad investigation being led by Mueller, who is investigating alleged coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, the AP said.

Flynn is the fourth former Trump associate to face charges in the investigation, the first who actually served in Trump's White House.

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Flynn was forced to resign in February after intelligence leaks showed he had lied to Pence and other senior United States government officials about his conversations with Kislyak in late December, when Trump was still president-elect. The FBI folded Flynn into an official investigation into the possibility that Team Trump colluded with Russia, an inquiry that began in July 2016 after the USA intelligence community picked up reports of a pattern of odd contacts between the Trump campaign and an assortment of Russians.

The government did not reveal the identity of the senior transition official.

Three others have been charged in the Mueller probe.

Flynn denies that he discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak.

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Court documents say Flynn was instructed by "a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team" to discuss holding back on retaliation with Kislyak. Flynn's decision to admit to these lies and cooperate with the Special Counsel occurred, if press reports are to be believed, with the backdrop of broad legal exposure by Flynn, in addition to his son.

Flynn is now accused of "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the feds.

White House attorney Ty Cobb downplayed the significance of Flynn's decision to cooperate with Mueller, though the former Trump adviser said that he had kept senior administration officials apprised of his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the USA during the presidential transition past year. Trump, who publicly fretted about his desire to have Mueller wrap up his investigation sooner rather than later, and who supposedly will "blow a gasket" if he isn't exonerated by year's end, will now watch as Mueller proceeds full steam ahead, bolstered by Flynn's input. That appears to refer to the body's vote a day later to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The rest of the 15-nation council, including Russian Federation, voted unanimously against Israel.

Flynn was forced to resign roughly 18 days after Yates first warned McGahn about his conversations with Kislyak.

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