Michael Flynn, keeper of Trump's Russia secrets, strikes plea deal
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers during the presidential campaign, pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI in its investigation of Russia’s election interference. Flynn was charged with “willfully and knowingly mak[ing] false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” to the FBI in the course of its investigation into Russian […]
Flynn was charged with “willfully and knowingly mak[ing] false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” to the FBI in the course of its investigation into Russian election interference and its connection to the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Specifically, Flynn is charged with lying about asking Russia’s ambassador to the United States “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions” imposed against Russia that very day and that the ambassador told him “Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
Flynn also asked the Russian ambassador “to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution,” and lied to the FBI about that conversation as well.
In other words, during the Trump transition, Flynn, in his capacity as a top adviser to Trump, was holding conversations with the Russian government about easing sanctions against Russia once Trump assumed office — and lied about it to the FBI to cover it up. And now he has admitted it.
And Flynn is reportedly prepared to testify that he contacted Russia on direct orders from Trump himself.
The charges are coming from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in its election interference, as well as the Trump administration’s attempts to obstruct that investigation.
Flynn was a key member of the Trump campaign, later chosen to be Trump’s national security adviser. Mike Pence led the transition team that ignored multiple red flags about Flynn’s numerous financial ties to foreign governments and entities — as well as Obama’s warnings against hiring him.
Inside the White House, Flynn had access to a huge repository of top secret information and intelligence. The lives of millions of Americans and U.S. allies were entrusted to Flynn.
While working on the Trump transition, Flynn made contact with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and reportedly assured him that Trump would roll back sanctions imposed on Russia by President Barack Obama for interfering in the election.
Then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the Trump administration on multiple occasions that Flynn was “vulnerable to being compromised by Russia.” They ignored her, and Trump soon after fired her after she refused to enforce his illegal Muslim ban.
Flynn was finally fired in February after his repeated lies about this and other contacts emerged. Trump repeatedly expressed his resentment about being forced to remove Flynn, insisting Flynn had done nothing wrong and was merely a victim of “fake news.”
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017
Trump even reportedly hoped to bring Flynn back to his administration.
Flynn is now the second member of the Trump campaign to plead guilty to perjury. Foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is also cooperating with the Mueller investigation.
Additionally, multiple charges have been filed against two other Trump campaign officials, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Flynn knows the inner workings of both the Trump campaign and the Trump administration, and is in a prime position to reveal to special counsel Mueller even more details about Trump’s contacts and alliances with Russia.
Flynn received thousands of dollars for an appearance at an event held by RT, Russia’s state-owned propaganda network. Russian president Vladimir Putin appeared at the same event. Flynn had been warned by the Department of Defense that taking this money from Russia would be illegal, but he took it anyway.
Flynn received half a million dollars from Turkey, then quickly used his position at Trump’s side to advocate for that country’s position while supposedly serving the United States.
Pence claimed that he was unaware of these entanglements, but considerable evidence shows that he was warned, and in his role as Trump’s right-hand man, ignored it.
Now, the foreign agent Trump and Pence welcomed into their inner sanctum, with access to America’s security infrastructure, is in a prime position to reveal their secrets.
Flynn knows where the proverbial bodies have been buried by the Trump team, and he now has a license to reveal it all to the world.
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