Dem Intel Committee Leaders Stress Need For Independence After Flynn Plea

Dem Intel Committee Leaders Stress Need For Independence After Flynn Plea

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to the president, has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in regard to a meeting with a Russian ambassador a year ago and will cooperate with investigators, according to reports.

The significance of today's plea deal by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, in which he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the Special Counsel, can not be overstated.

The White House rejected the idea that Flynn could implicate Trump for collusion with Moscow, even as court documents said that Flynn had been told by "senior" members of the presidential transition team to make contact with the Russians.

A lawyer for Flynn informs Trump's lawyers that they can no longer share information with the White House.

Flynn is the fourth former Trump associate to face charges in the investigation, the first who actually served in Trump's White House.

More news: Mike Pompeo might bring assets to 'hellish' secretary of state role

Flynn was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation just days after Trump's inauguration.

At the time, Flynn was a campaign and transition advisor with no official U.S. government role, but it was known that he would likely become Trump's White House national security advisor. 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.

Flynn denies that he discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak. In charging Flynn, prosecutors made clear they believe that claim to be false.

Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, goes to the White House and warns White House counsel Donald McGahn that Flynn has misled administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak and is potentially subject to Russian blackmail.

Mueller's team announced charges in October against three other Trump campaign officials, former chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, and a former campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. Court documents filed by the special counsel said that Flynn "willfully and knowingly" made "materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations". Trump, who publicly fretted about his desire to have Mueller wrap up his investigation sooner rather than later, and who supposedly will "blow a gasket" if he isn't exonerated by year's end, will now watch as Mueller proceeds full steam ahead, bolstered by Flynn's input. The Statement of the Offense included important new details, including that Flynn was directed by a senior transition official to contact Russian officials in an effort to influence Russia's response to the Obama Administration's imposition of sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution vote on Israeli settlements, and, crucially, that he reported back to transition officials. The rest of the 15-nation council, including Russian Federation, voted unanimously against Israel.

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