Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI, Cooperating in Mueller Probe
WASHINGTON -- Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and indicated he's working with special counsel investigators, while the White House branded the Republican National Convention keynote speaker as an "Obama administration official" and said the charge doesn't touch the administration.
The count in the U.S. District Court for D.C. filing says that Flynn "falsely stated and represented" to FBI agents that while working on the Trump transition team on Dec. 29, 2016, he "did not ask the government of Russia's ambassador to the United States to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day," along with Flynn telling investigators he "did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request."
Flynn was also charged with lying about a Dec. 22 conversation, saying he "did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to Flynn Russia's response to his request."
He faces up to five years in prison on the charge. He was released with the requirement that he check in weekly until sentencing.
Flynn said in a statement 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," he said. "I accept full responsibility for my actions."
Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, served in the Trump administration from Day One. He worked for the Trump campaign while still running his lobbying firm, advocating for the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an Election Day op-ed. After resigning from the Trump administration, Flynn filed as a foreign agent for work done on behalf of the Turkish government.
The national security advisor lasted less than a month in office, stepping down Feb. 13 for reportedly misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations, which were leaked to the press, with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Two days later, at a press conference, Trump called Flynn "a wonderful man" who has "been treated very, very unfairly by the media."
The White House released a statement from Ty Cobb, who has been representing the Trump administration in the Mueller probe since July, noting that Flynn served "for 25 days during the Trump administration" and is "a former Obama administration official." President Obama reportedly advised President Trump not to hire the former lieutenant general, who was pushed out of the DIA reportedly over conflicts with his leadership style, in their White House transition meetings.