Michael Flynn Charged With Lying To FBI, Set To Plead Guilty
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador. Flynn, in turn, is expected to plead guilty in a DC court to making false statements to FBI agents in January 2017, according to the court filing presented below. The plea hearing is set for 10:30 am ET.
- COURT FILING SAYS FLYNN FALSELY STATED HE DID NOT ASK RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO REFRAIN FROM ESCALATING SITUATION AFTER U.S. HAD IMPOSED SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA
- COURT FILING SAYS FLYNN FALSELY STATED HE DID NOT RECALL THAT RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TOLD HIM RUSSIA HAD CHOSEN TO MODERATE ITS RESPONSE TO U.S. SANCTIONS AS A RESULT OF HIS REQUEST
- COURT FILING SAYS FLYNN FALSELY STATED THAT HE DID NOT ASK RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO DELAY VOTE ON PENDING UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION AND THAT AMBASSADOR NEVER DESCRIBED RUSSIA’S RESPONSE TO HIS REQUEST
Michael Flynn is now the second person involved with the Trump campaign to admit wrongdoing in Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; he is however the first Trump administration official charged in relation to Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates were charged with money laundering from alleged crimes that took place before they worked with Trump. A campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI earlier this year over contacts with officials connected to the Russian government.
After he left the administration, Flynn filed a foreign registration form showing that he hadn’t disclosed multiple contacts and payments from foreign entities while serving as a campaign adviser to Trump starting in February 2016. The company received $530,000 from a Dutch company working on behalf of Turkey’s government, to lobby the U.S. for extradition of an exiled cleric who has opposed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. He’s also disclosed payments from the Russian news site RT, described in an unclassified U.S. intelligence report as “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”
The news about Flynn comes a day after CNN reported that Jared Kushner had met earlier this month with Mueller’s team as part of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, according to two people familiar with the meeting.
The question is whether as part of the plea Flynn will ‘reveal’ something about Trump, because if 6 months after the Mueller probe the best he could get out of Flynn is making a “false statement” about meeting the Russian ambassador, then Trump has nothing to be worried about.