Retired Lt. General Mike Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, is pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and is willing to testify against Trump in the Russia investigation.
Flynn faced charges of lying to the FBI that he didn’t tell Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to vote against a United Nations resolution in December declaring all Israeli settlements in Jerusalem to be illegal. He also faced charges of lying about telling Kislyak to hold off any retaliation against sanctions and that he didn’t remember Kislyak telling him that Russia would indeed “moderate its response.”
Flynn refused to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller at first due to his loyalty to Trump, but eventually acquiesced due to increasing legal bills and the feeling that Trump was leaving him out to dry.
The former national security adviser issued a statement that read, “It has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts. Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.”
The charges Flynn plead guilty to have a maximum sentence of five years in prison, however given Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller it’s unlikely that he’ll receive significant jail time.
Flynn is expected to testify that Trump told him to talk to the Russians about cooperation between the two countries on Syria and ISIS. It is also being reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, was the one who ordered Flynn to contact every foreign representative and lobby against the anti-Israel U.N. resolution.
Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer, claimed that Flynn’s plea is of no significance.
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn,” said Cobb. “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.”
However, the White House was reportedly “caught off guard” at the news of Flynn’s guilty plea.
“What they’re freaked out about is that there are no leaks,” a source told Politico. “[George] Papadopoulos didn’t leak. Flynn didn’t leak. They feel like they can’t trust anyone. Their own counsel didn’t know.”