Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Michael Flynn to Plead Guilty Over False Statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Michael Flynn to Plead Guilty Over False Statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, December 1, 2017.

He noted that it's a "bit curious" to see Flynn only plead guilty to one charge, since Trump's former national security adviser seemed to have "exposure" on more serious offenses.

"But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right", he continued. "We'll review everything.' I never said anything such as, 'We're going to review sanctions, ' or anything like that".

Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump ordered him to reach out to Russia, ABC News reported Friday.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Flynn with "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the agency about his conversations with Russia's ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The court filings from Flynn's plea hearing Friday say a "very senior member" of Trump's transition team asked Flynn to contact officials from UN Security Council countries, including Russian Federation, to learn where each country stood on the vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.

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In the court document, Mueller says Flynn made false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when he denied asking the Russian ambassador in December 2016 to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the sanctions.

A December 29 call between Flynn and Trump advisers discussed the potential impact on the "incoming administration's foreign policy goals", according to a court filing Friday.

In a January 24 interview with investigators, Flynn denied having asked Kislyak to moderate Russia's response to new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, announced by Obama in retaliation for Moscow's interference in the 2016 election.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb told The Associated Press that Flynn's guilty plea and pledge to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation does not implicate "anyone other than Mr. Flynn".

According to the reports, in a deal with prosecutors, Flynn offered testimony about conversations inside the Trump campaign about contacts with Russian operatives.

"Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions".

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In a striking rupture with past practice, the Obama administration refrained from vetoing the condemnation, opting instead to abstain.

"The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year", Cobb said.

But Trump has repeatedly rejected that view.

The charges against Flynn stem from Mueller's months-long investigation into purported Russian meddling to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, including hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee, and into any possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. When asked how he pleaded, Flynn only said, "Guilty, your honor".

Flynn was an early and vocal supporter on the campaign trail of President Donald Trump whose business dealings and foreign interactions made him a central focus of Mueller's investigation.

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