Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Posted December 02, 2017

In May, Trump fired Comey over "this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation", as Trump described it. Comey's ouster was a stunning event, one that led directly to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel for Russiagate. Trump's worst fears may soon be realized.

The charges against Flynn stem from Mueller's months-long investigation into purported Russian meddling to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, including hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee, and into any possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Flynn is accused of falsely telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he did not ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to [the] sanctions".

Flynn, responding to questions from the Washington Post, once again denies any discussions with Kislyak about sanctions. Sources say he could draw in senior transition team members, the Trump family, even the President himself.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb told The Associated Press that Flynn's guilty plea and pledge to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation does not implicate "anyone other than Mr. Flynn". At the very least, that's embarrassing to Pence, who ought to resign.

Flynn was an early and vocal Trump supporter on the campaign trail and was present for consequential moments in the campaign, the following transition period and the early days of Trump's presidency, making him a valuable potential tool for prosecutors and agents.

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The transition official and Flynn "discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russian Federation to escalate the situation". He has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller in exchange for leniency. Meanwhile, Papadopoulos, a low-level campaign staffer, is already doing so, after he was nailed for lying about his own, repeated contacts with Russian Federation, including the fact that Russian Federation had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and "thousands of emails".

Trump has repeatedly denied any inappropriate connections between his aides and the Russian government.

Trump names Flynn as his national security advisor.

He appeared to be referring to a New York Times report Thursday that Trump has frequently pressured senators to end the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation.

Mueller's charging documents state bluntly that Flynn interfered with the FBI's inquiry into Trump-Russia collusion. Court documents filed by the special counsel said that Flynn "willfully and knowingly" made "materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations". And there's more to come. "Lock her up!" On Friday morning, as Flynn hurriedly exited the federal court building in Washington, D.C., after making his guilty plea, a spectator held high a simple, hand-lettered sign: "Lock him up!"