Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will reportedly testify in court that President Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after intelligence leaks showed he had lied to Pence and other senior USA government officials about his conversations with Kislyak in late December, when Trump was still president-elect. We hope that the cooperation of General Flynn that Special Counsel has secured as a part of this plea agreement extends to Flynn's cooperation with our committee, as his testimony could greatly advance our efforts.
Besides a Dec. 29 conversation about sanctions, prosecutors also cite an earlier December meeting, in which Flynn asked Kislyak to delay or defeat a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office announced the charge before Flynn appeared in a Virginia courtroom Friday morning to enter the plea. The disgraced Flynn - who was sacked for covering up his interactions last December with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the United States - pleaded guilty to charges filed by Mueller that Flynn lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about those talks with Kislyak.
Trump's former national security adviser admitted to lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump's inauguration.
The sanctions were ordered in response to "aggressive harassment of USA officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election", Obama said in a statement on December 29, 2016.
In a striking rupture with past practice, the Obama administration refrained from vetoing the condemnation, opting instead to abstain.More news: SI's parent company Time will be bought by Meredith
While the two interactions do not indicate a clear instance of collusion, they raise questions about the Trump team's dealings with Moscow before taking office - and whether they actively worked to undermine Obama's policies. He then resigned in February 2017 after the White House said Flynn had misled them about whether he had discussed sanctions with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, the AP said.
Flynn's pledge to cooperate with Mueller could lead to further charges, but an attorney for Trump, Ty Cobb, said no one else was affected by this latest development.
This guilty plea also comes on the heels of a new report about the President's efforts to silence the independent, bipartisan Senate investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russian Federation. Congressional staff have done the same with respect to their separate probes.
In a February 14 meeting at the White House, Trump reportedly told then-FBI Director Comey to "let this go".
Since the first allegations of Russian interference past year, Trump has dismissed it as "fake news" and an excuse for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's stunning loss in the election. "I hope you can let this go". He has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller in exchange for leniency.
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.