|Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn arriving for a plea hearing to chants of "Lock him up!"|
In a bombshell turn of events Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian government in his meetings with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
On Friday morning it was reported that Michael Flynn was charged with one count of making a false statement to FBI agents and appeared in federal court in D.C.
In a criminal information filing from Mueller’s team, the government alleges that Flynn, in an interview with FBI agents on Jan. 24...
“willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements,”
It alleges he falsely told the FBI that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to refrain from retaliating to sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia in late December. Flynn also allegedly lied about asking the Russian ambassador on Dec. 22 to delay or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.
This plea deal is incredibly lenient considering all of the very serious charges Flynn could have faced in connection with his shady overseas dealings. The fact that Flynn faces only a single charge and that his son Michael T. Flynn faces no charges, is an clear indication that there is significant cooperation and information being exchanged with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
The Associated Press and Washington Post have both reported that Flynn admitted in his plea that he spoke to the Russians at the direction of Trump transition team officials.
After the news of the plea Flynn's released this statement...
In response to Flynn's plea of guilty, Trump lawyer John Dowd told Wall Street Journal...
"I have no reaction. I don’t know enough. I’m not worried about it.”
White House lawyer Ty Cobb had this to say about the development...
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.”
The plea deal comes after the late November report that Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, was no longer sharing information with Trump’s legal team.
Flynn became a focal point of Mueller's investigation due to his history of suspicious business dealings and financial ties to Russia, as well as his concealing that he worked as a foreign lobbyist for the Turkish government while advising Trump’s campaign.
This latest guilty plea follows Mueller’s team charging Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former aide Rick Gates with 12 counts and a plea agreement with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
You can read Michael Flynn full Plea agreement HERE.