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Former Trump Adviser Flynn Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI
02 December 2017, 12:21 | Rufus Hill
The court filings from former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's plea hearing Friday show special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are focused on the actions of President Donald Trump and his senior team. The following day, Flynn spoke to a "senior official" on the transition team at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort to discuss "what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the United States sanctions", according to the documents.
Flynn is accused of falsely telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he did not ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to [the] sanctions".
Flynn's catastrophic mistake was that he lied about the December 29 calls, first in denials to Trump spokesmen that were shared with me and other reporters on January 12, then to Vice President Pence and, most important, to Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who interviewed him on January 24.
That should scare White House officials as they hunker down for an investigation that's inching ever closer to the Oval Office - and still looks like it's nowhere near completion. Only then, with top-level approval to discuss sanctions, did Flynn call the Russian ambassador. Thus, it seems quite likely that if Flynn is cooperating, he will ultimately plead guilty to other crimes besides this single count.
But the ABC report, which suggested for the first time that Flynn will point the finger at Trump directly, sent shudders through a market that has been breaking record after record in recent months.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after intelligence leaks showed he had lied to Pence and other senior U.S. government officials about his conversations with Kislyak in late December, when Trump was still president-elect.
The two-page charging document makes reference to two separate conversations with Kislyak, and to separate false statements prosecutors say he made regarding that communication.
"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Flynn".
The Obama administration abstained, while the rest of the 15-nation council, including Russian Federation, voted unanimously against Israel. Trump personally called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to press the case against the condemnation, and Egypt postponed the scheduled showdown on December 22 - the same day Flynn met Kislyak.
"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", Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer, said in a statement. According to a memo Comey wrote afterward, Trump said: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".
Comey has said the encounter unnerved him so much that he prepared an internal memo about it.
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in a panel discussion at the Wilson Center in Washington , U.S., November 28, 2017. Following the report of the impending shakeup, Trump responded to questions on Tillerson's fate by saying "He's here".