Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court Friday on charges of lying to the FBI about his contact with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition.
Flynn’s plea agreement very likely signals that the former Army lieutenant general is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s expansive investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Flynn is the most significant Trump associate taken down in Mueller’s investigation so far. It is very bad news for the White House.
Here’s the full statement of offense against Flynn:
The gist of it is that Flynn admits to lying about two December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a January 24, 2017, interview with federal investigators.
Prosecutors say Flynn lied to the FBI when asked if he had asked the Russian ambassador to help constrain Russia’s response to President Barack Obama’s retaliation against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, where he expelled suspected intelligence agents and shuttered two Russian diplomatic compounds in the US. Flynn also claimed not to remember Kislyak’s reply where he said Russia would, in fact “not take retaliatory measures” at that time.
Perhaps the biggest revelation from this charge: Flynn, according to prosecutors, reported back to an unidentified “senior official with the Presidential Transition Team” about his discussion with Kislyak.
The second conversation prosecutors say Flynn lied about involved a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements. According to prosecutors, a senior member of Trump’s transition team instructed Flynn to contact foreign officials, including Russia, to pressure them to vote against the resolution. Flynn, in his interview with the FBI, claimed he only asked their positions, and that he did not remember Russia’s response.
The third charge against Flynn says he misrepresented the extent of his work on behalf of the Turkish government through his firm, the Flynn Intel Group.