Flynn says Trump transition team directed him

Posted December 02, 2017

The court documents provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in contacting Russian officials to influence worldwide policy.

"My guilty plea and agreement to co-operate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country".

Flynn was formally charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday, and has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over his December 2016 phone call to Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

"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", he continued. "I accept full responsibility for my actions", he said.

He also promised to cooperate with Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

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"The Statement of the Offense included important new details, including that Flynn was directed by a senior transition official to contact Russian officials in an effort to influence Russia's response to the Obama Administration's imposition of sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution vote on Israeli settlements, and, crucially, that he reported back to transition officials", he said.

It's the first plea by any of the four former advisers to President Donald Trump charged so far in the wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn admitted he lied to FBI investigators about his private discussions at the end of December 2016 with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of then president Barack Obama. The prosecutors' filing did not name the transition officials.

After the December 29 announcement, the Obama administration was openly puzzled by Moscow's decision not to retaliate, and began investigating possible interference by Flynn and the Trump campaign. Flynn described to them how Russian Federation would not retaliate for the sanctions following team Trump's request. "It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out", Flynn told the Daily Caller at the time.

At the time, Flynn was a campaign and transition advisor with no official United States government role, but it was known that he would likely become Trump's White House national security advisor.

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"The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year", Cobb said.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb told The Associated Press that Flynn's guilty plea and pledge to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation does not implicate "anyone other than Mr. Flynn".

The opposition Democratic Party was quick to slam Trump. Trump has reportedly rued the day that Flynn forced himself out by misrepresenting his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak - contacts which are at the heart of his guilty plea - and even sought leniency for Flynn from then-FBI Director James Comey.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities on October 30 after he was indicted, along with his business associate Rick Gates, on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering. He has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller in exchange for leniency.

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