Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying in Russia investigation

UPDATE — 12/4, 12:56 p.m. EST: Sources for NBC News and ABC News have confirmed White House adviser Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of the Trump transition team alluded to in court documents who directed Michael Flynn to contact foreign officials, including Russians, about a UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements in Palestine — a potential violation of federal law established in 1799, known as the Logan Act.

On Sunday, Newsweek reported Kushner did not list his association with a family foundation which funded illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank on financial disclosure forms filed with the Office of Government Ethics in early 2017.

 

After days of speculation a negotiated deal with federal prosecutors was eminent, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has plead guilty to a single count of lying to the FBI in regard to its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In a Friday morning hearing in a Washington, D.C., court, Flynn plead guilty plea to the charge he made false statements in January over conversations he held with the then-Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment, Flynn is charged with lying about asking the former Russian ambassador to advise the Kremlin not to “escalate” the diplomatic row between the two countries following the Obama administration’s sanctions in December 2016.

Flynn is also charged with failing to reveal Kislyak responded the Kremlin had planned to do as much as a result of Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador.  When asked if Russia had agreed to the request, Flynn reportedly told FBI investigators he had no recollection.

Flynn also told the FBI he did not ask Kislyak to “delay a vote on or defeat” a resolution in front of the UN Security Council, when in fact he did.

Flynn allegedly held the conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016, shortly after the Obama White House imposed sanctions against Russia for its role in meddling with the 2016 presidential election.

Conversations between Flynn and the FBI took place approximately one month after Flynn met with Kislyak.

“Given the narrow scope of the indictment, I would put good money on it that this was the negotiated terms of the deal,” said Brad Moss, a national security lawyer. “Mueller agreed to charge Flynn with a single felony in exchange for cooperation and material information (as well as not prosecuting him for other things).”

Multiple media outlets have reported after Flynn formally plead guilty that he will fully cooperate with federal authorities and testify against then-candidate Trump about his willingness to work with Russian contacts during the campaign.

A former Army lieutenant general, Flynn served as national security adviser for only weeks before being forced to step down after he made misleading statements to Vice President Mike Pence over the contact with Kislyak.

Prior to his association with Donald Trump, Flynn received over $65,000 from RT and two other Russian entities for a Moscow speech in 2015 without prior permission, another potential violation of federal law.

Flynn faces up to five years in prison for “willfully and knowingly” giving “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI.

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

 

[CNN] [Politico] [The Hill]

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