Michael Flynn, who was fired as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser after revelations about his communications with Russia’s ambassador, is expected to plead guilty Friday morning to lying to federal agents about the contact.
The charge against Flynn, 58, adds another prominent defendant to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Mueller has already secured indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, as well as a guilty plea from a junior foreign policy adviser.
The government alleges Flynn lied to FBI agents about December 2016 conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. According to prosecutors, Flynn told the agents that he didn’t tell the ambassador in a Dec. 29 conversation to “refrain from escalating the situation in response” to U.S. sanctions that had been imposed that day. He also told agents he didn’t recall the ambassador telling him that Russia decided to moderate its response.
He also lied about a Dec. 22 conversation with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. In that instance, he told agents he hadn’t asked the ambassador to delay or defeat a U.N. security council vote.
A guilty plea to one charge suggests Flynn has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s inquiry in exchange for leniency for himself and possibly his son, who worked with him in his private business. The charge doesn’t delve into Flynn’s work on behalf of Turkey, which is also under investigation, or his failure to promptly disclose such work to U.S. authorities.
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · David Kocieniewski, Greg Farrell