What goes around comes around, Mikey.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged Friday with making a false statement to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, marking another monumental development in the wide-ranging probe of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Michael Flynn charged with making false statement to the FBI:
Flynn is expected to enter a plea at 10:30, according to the special counsel’s office. The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his meeting with Kislyak during the transition.
Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to Obama administration sanctions after the conversation.
Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The count for lying to the FBI is the bare minimum charge that was anticipated to be filed against Michael Flynn. This tells me that he is cooperating with the Special Counsel as has been widely speculated about over the past couple of weeks. See, Flynn’s lawyer shuts down communications with Trump’s team, a sign he may be cooperating with Mueller probe; A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller; Michael Flynn’s lawyer meets with members of special counsel’s team, raising specter of plea deal.
Robert Mueller is holding additional charges that could be brought for Flynn’s lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey and an alleged plot to kidnap a Turkish cleric, Michael Flynn’s possible involvement in a plot to abduct Turkish cleric, and his work for a U.S. company he was advising that hoped to build more than two dozen nuclear plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests. Michael Flynn’s role in Middle Eastern nuclear project could compound legal issues. This guy is a bad actor who has been doing bad things for money.
The question now turns to “what is Flynn providing to Robert Mueller’s team in exchange for this plea deal”? This should make Donald Trump’s butt pucker.
UPDATE: Read the special counsel’s charges against Flynn (Scribd).
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn spoke with a “senior official” in President Trump’s transition team at the Mar-a-Lago resort to discuss what he should communicate to the Russian ambassador in a highly-scrutinized series of phone calls in December of 2016, according to federal prosecutors. Flynn coordinated Russia call with senior transition official, prosecutors say:
Flynn and the senior officials discussed both the recently implemented U.S. sanctions on Russia as well as the fact that they did not want Russia to escalate friction between the two nations, lawyers on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team told a federal judge Friday.
After the discussion, Flynn telephoned the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Afterwards, he called the senior transition official and reported the sanctions discussion, prosecutors said.
Kislyak later followed up with Flynn and affirmed that Russia would moderate its response to the sanctions, put in place by then-President Obama. Flynn communicated that exchange to other transition officials, prosecutors said.
According to court documents filed by Mueller, Flynn lied when he told investigators that he did not ask Kislyak to “refrain from escalating the situation” in response to sanctions that Obama had levied on Russia.
Flynn also lied, the counsel said, when Flynn said he did not ask the ambassador to either delay or defeat a United Nations Security Council vote.
Prosecutors told Judge Rudolph Contreras that Flynn was told by the senior member of the Trump transition team to reach out to other countries to influence the U.N. vote, in an effort to delay or defeat the resolution.
Flynn’s misrepresentation of his conversations with Kislyak — which took place in December, before Trump took office — were the justification for his ouster from the White House after just 24 days as national security adviser.
The government’s testimony on Friday raises new questions about who in Trump’s orbit knew about the nature of Flynn’s conversations — and how they learned of it.
The Trump transition team had a very small universe of “senior officials.” It did not take long to figure out that one senior official who directed Flynn’s contacts with other countries, including the Russian ambassador, was Trump’s “secretary of everything,” his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner is senior transition official who ordered Flynn to contact Russia: reports:
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of the president’s transition team who told Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials about a United Nations resolution before Trump took office, multiple news outlets reported Friday.
Bloomberg News first reported that Kushner was the senior member mentioned in court documents filed by special counsel Robert Mueller in the case against Flynn. NBC News and CNN also reported that Kushner was the transition official mentioned in court documents.
Two former Trump transition officials told Bloomberg that Kushner ordered Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador and ambassadors from other countries in an attempt to stop a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Kushner told Flynn he needed to get ambassadors and foreign minsters to commit to delay or vote against the resolution. According to prosecutors, then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak gave Flynn that assurance.
Then-president elect Trump publicly called for the U.N. to veto the resolution, calling it “extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
The resolution, which was put forth in December 2016 during the final days of the Obama administration, ultimately passed after the United States abstained from vetoing it.
Bloomberg reports that the effort to delay or stop the resolution was also apparently coordinated with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mueller’s team of investigators is looking into Kushner’s contact with foreign leaders, including his involvement in the U.N. resolution and his role in in setting up meetings and communications with foreign leaders during Trump’s transition.
Kushner also reportedly met with Mueller’s team last month to discuss Flynn.
ABC News reported Friday that Flynn is expected to testify that Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians” during the 2016 campaign:
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is expected to testify that President Trump instructed him to contact Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, according to a report by ABC News.
Flynn is saying that Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians,” ABC’s Brian Ross said Friday, just moments after Flynn entered a guilty plea for lying about his contact with Russians during the presidential transition period.
The former adviser has reportedly also “promised full cooperation to the Mueller team” within the last 24 hours.
And another Trump transition team member has been fingered. Additional Trump transition official familiar with Flynn’s Russia contact identified: report:
K.T. McFarland, the former White House deputy national security adviser, discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia and potential retaliation from Moscow with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to an Associated Press report.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before President Trump took office. Court documents say that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak were directed by transition officials, who have since been identified by multiple media reports.
Multiple media outlets earlier on Friday reported that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was another official, referenced in the documents as a “very senior transition official,” who reportedly directed Flynn to lobby the Russian government over a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
McFarland is separately identified in the documents as a “senior transition official,” according to AP and ABC News.
* * *
McFarland left the White House in April, two months after Flynn resigned amid revelations that he misled Vice President Pence about his contacts with Kislyak.
McFarland is currently awaiting Senate confirmation to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
Oops! That ain’t happening now.