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Former Trump aide Flynn pleads guilty to lying about Russian Federation links

02 December, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Michael Flynn

They have "nothing to do with the president". The White House has denied that assertion.

A source closed to President Donald Trump said the latest developments surrounding his former national security advisor Michael Flynn are "very, very, very bad," according to NBC News. Trump was sacked last February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his contacts with Russian intermediaries.

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. The polar opposite approaches have been striking.

It is widely believed that Flynn's "guilty" plea is part of a broader plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller that entails revealing testimony on potential connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign. The Statement of the Offense included important new details, including that Flynn was directed by a senior transition official to contact Russian officials in an effort to influence Russia's response to the Obama Administration's imposition of sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution vote on Israeli settlements, and, crucially, that he reported back to transition officials.

Flynn denies that he discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak. That would suggest there was a second, previously unknown contact between Flynn and Kislyak.

The topics Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about included Russia's reaction to U.S. sanctions and Russia's vote on a UN Security Council resolution about Israeli settlements.

The substance behind the charges isn't hugely surprising.

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".

At the time, though, it wasn't clear that charges would be filed against Flynn, because of how the word "sanctions" could be parsed. Trump personally called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to press the case against the condemnation, and Egypt surprisingly postponed the scheduled showdown on December 22 - the same day Flynn met Kislyak.

"It wasn't about sanctions". It was basically: 'Look, I know this happened. "I accept full responsibility for my actions".

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

Mueller is examining possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. The charges themselves had nothing to do with the campaign, but instead had to do with Manafort's business dealings.

Flynn had told Pence and other White House officials that he had merely spoken to the then-Russian ambassador about their winter holidays when in reality the two men had discussed the Obama administration's sanctions against Moscow.

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee earlier this year that she had warned the White House about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak so that the Trump administration "could take action" amid concerns that Flynn was subject to blackmail by Russians.


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