Member of Trump team directed Russian Federation contacts, says Michael Flynn

  • Member of Trump team directed Russian Federation contacts, says Michael Flynn

Member of Trump team directed Russian Federation contacts, says Michael Flynn

Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the first official who worked in the Trump White House to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. The disgraced Flynn - who was sacked for covering up his interactions last December with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the United States - pleaded guilty to charges filed by Mueller that Flynn lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about those talks with Kislyak.

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. At a time when tensions were hightened between the United States and Russia, Flynn was asked about whether he discussed sanctions against the country with the ambassador before he took office.

Mueller is examining possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Trump has reportedly rued the day that Flynn forced himself out by misrepresenting his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak - contacts which are at the heart of his guilty plea - and even sought leniency for Flynn from then-FBI Director James Comey.

Flynn is the most senior member of the Trump administration to have been indicted by the special counsel thus far.

Next, Flynn can tell Mueller what, if anything, he knows about the contacts between Russian Federation and a series of Trump officials in 2016, including meetings, emails, phone calls and trips involving Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Carter Page, Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos.

Court documents show Flynn will admit to lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump's inauguration.

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

Special counsel Robert Mueller
Hide Caption Show Caption Special counsel Robert Mueller

Disgraced ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn said Friday he agreed to plead guilty and testify against President Trump because it was the right thing to do for his family and the country. They pleaded not guilty. As Mueller's probe intensified in the early months of the Trump administration, Gates left the nonprofit altogether.

Yates said she had had "two in-person meetings and one phone call" with the White House counsel, Don McGahn, in January about Flynn.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House.

At 11:12 a.m. ET, nearly 40 minutes into his first court appearance Friday, Flynn officially pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

Apparently, Mueller's team was seeking a deal of some kind to win Flynn's cooperation in that investigation.

They also extend to false statements that Flynn made in regard to his company, the Flynn Intel Group, in connection with his work as a lobbyist and consultant to the government of Turkey.

The federal prosecutors spoke with Flynn four days after Trump's presidential inauguration.