Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI
Saturday - 02/12/2017 01:37
EX-NATIONAL security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is reportedly ready to testify that Donald Trump ordered him to talk to Russia.
DONALD Trump’s ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in January.
“My guilty plea and agreement to co-operate with the Special Counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and our country,” Flynn said in a statement after leaving court.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Flynn was forced to resign the following month after misleading the White House about meeting the Russian ambassador before Trump took office.
The charges were brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Flynn admitted to one count of knowingly making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements”.
ABC News is reporting Flynn made the decision to co-operate in the past day and that he would testify Donald Trump instructed him to make contact with Russia during the presidential campaign.
The Dow dropped 350 points and swung wildly after the media report.
“He has promised full co-operation with the Mueller team. He is prepared to testify, we are told by a confidante, against President Trump, against members of the Trump family and others in the White House,” chief correspondent Brian Ross said.
“He is prepared to testify that President Trump as a candidate ordered him, directed him, to make contact with the Russians, which contradicts all that Donald Trump has said at this point.
“And we are told that Flynn made the decision to co-operate only in the last 24 hours, that he is distraught about the decision but that he is doing the right thing for his county, that he was facing huge legal bills of more than a million dollars.”
Flynn’s siblings have been fundraising for his legal defence since the Russia probe was announced.
A White House lawyer said that nothing about Flynn’s guilty plea “implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”
Lawyer Ty Cobb also points out that Flynn worked in the White House for only 25 days and that he was a “former Obama administration official.”
Cobb put out a statement after Flynn pleaded guilty. He said the “false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year.”
Flynn is the first Trump administration official and the fourth tied to the campaign to be charged as part of Mueller’s widening probe into possible collusion between the Russian government and Team Trump, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted last month and pleaded not guilty, reports the New York Post.
And Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the feds over contacts with officials connected to the Kremlin.
The charge against Flynn is the first in Mueller’s investigation that has reached someone in the Oval Office — the latest sign that the special counsel investigation is intensifying.