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What Charge Did Michael Flynn Plead Guilty to in Russia Investigation?

Robert Mueller Michael Flynn guilty

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President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pled guilty this morning in a federal court in Washington for lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the Russian ambassador last December. Special counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” regarding those conversations.

Flynn’s plea indicates what the New York Times and other sources have already reported – that the former Trump administration official is cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Previously, the president’s legal team confirmed that Flynn’s attorney is no longer engaged in privileged discussion with them. Then on Monday Flynn’s attorney met with the special counsel’s team, essentially switching sides, which furthered speculation of a plea bargain.

Mueller’s team released a press statement earlier this morning.

Michael Flynn’s plea document was submitted to the court by the special counsel on Thursday.

The plea document reads:

On or about January 24, 2017, defendant MICHAEL T. FLYNN did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, to wit, the defendant falsely stated and represented to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C.

The document goes on to say that Flynn gave false witness to the F.B.I. on two counts. First, he lied about asking the Russian Ambassador to refrain escalation in response to the United States’ imposed sanctions.

On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States (“Russian Ambassador”) to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those – sanctions as a result of his request.

Flynn also lied about asking the Russian ambassador to delay a vote regarding a UN Security Council resolution.

On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.

Though Flynn is the first Trump administration official to be charged, he is the fourth person connected to the president’s 2016 election campaign to be charged in Mueller’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and Trump’s campaign, as well as possible obstruction of justice and financial crimes. This indicates that the special counsel’s investigation is intensifying.

Flynn’s indictment follows the indictments of George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, and Rick Gates.

The White House has yet to comment.

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