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Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI: Says Trump team directed him to contact Russia

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn plead guilty in a Washington, D.C., court Friday to making false statements to the FBI.


As part of a plea deal, Flynn has agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. Sources say Flynn is already supplying information about the actions of top Trump transition officials.

Though the individuals are not named, court documents show Flynn claiming a “very senior member” of the Trump transition team directed him to contact foreign governments including Russia over a United Nations vote – which was the subject of one of Flynn's false statements.

The documents also say Flynn called an unnamed senior transition official in December to ask what to communicate to the Russian ambassador about sanctions. That official and Flynn discussed how they didn’t want Russia to "escalate the situation," something Flynn immediately told the ambassador in a phone call.


In a criminal information filing from Mueller’s team, the government said that Flynn “willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” in an interview with FBI agents on Jan. 24. It alleges he falsely told the FBI that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to refrain from retaliating to sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia in late December. Flynn also allegedly lied about asking the Russian ambassador on Dec. 22 to delay or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.

Flynn’s indictment follows Mueller’s team charging Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former aide Rick Gates with 12 counts, including allegations of conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering. Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to face a federal trial in May.

In October, the investigators also reached a plea agreement with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who lied to the FBI about being offered “dirt” on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. Papadopoulos also reportedly suggested a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin last year.

In a statement, Flynn said he acknowledged that his actions "were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.

"My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions," Flynn said.

The White House said late Friday morning that "nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Flynn.

"The conclusion of this phase of the special counsel's work demonstrates again that the special counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion," Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer, said in a statement.

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