Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Flynn pleads guilty on Russia, reportedly ready to testify against Trump

Politics Dec 01, 2017 02:39PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump, White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey in Washington

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia's ambassador, and prosecutors said he consulted with a senior official in Donald Trump's presidential transition team before speaking to the envoy.

In an appearance at a courtroom in downtown Washington, Flynn became the first member of Trump's administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by the special counsel investigation into Russia's alleged attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Flynn, a former Army general and member of Trump's campaign team, admitted as part of a plea deal that he gave false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak before Trump took office.

ABC News said Flynn, facing up to five years in jail, was prepared to testify that before taking office Trump had directed him to make contact with Russians.

Reuters could not immediately verify the ABC News report on Flynn testifying, which could put the Republican president in an uncomfortable spot after he has denied any collusion between his campaign team and Moscow.

Stocks and the dollar fell sharply after the ABC report, with the benchmark S&P 500 index last down 1.2 percent, the dollar last down 0.4 percent and bond yields falling with the 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR yielding 2.32 percent.

Flynn's decision to cooperate with the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, marked a major escalation in a probe that has dogged Trump's administration since the Republican president took office.

The White House said Flynn's guilty plea on Friday implicated him alone.

"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn," Ty Cobb, a White House attorney, said in a statement on Friday.

Flynn was forced out of his White House post in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the ambassador.

FLYNN AND TRUMP

ABC News cited a confidant as saying Flynn was ready to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russians before he became president, initially as a way to work together to fight the Islamic State group in Syria.

If Flynn testifies that before taking office Trump directed him to contact Russian officials, that might not necessarily amount to a crime.

If it were proven that Trump directed Flynn to lie about his contacts to the FBI, that would be a crime but legal experts disagree over whether a sitting president can be indicted.

Many say the only clear punishment for a president who has committed criminal acts is impeachment by Congress. The Constitution provides that impeachment, which requires a simple majority in the House and a two-thirds vote in the Senate, is warranted for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which Congress is free to define as it sees fit.

Moscow has denied what U.S. intelligence agencies say was meddling in the election campaign to try to sway the vote in Trump's favor. Trump has called Mueller's probe a witch hunt.

Prosecutors said that Flynn and Kislyak last December discussed a diplomatic dispute over economic sanctions that Washington had imposed on Moscow, and an upcoming vote in the U.N. Security Council regarded as damaging to Israel.

Flynn admitted falsely telling FBI officials in January that he did not ask the ambassador to refrain from escalating a diplomatic dispute over U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

The Obama administration, which was still in office at the time, had imposed the sanctions on Moscow for allegedly interfering in the election.

Flynn also lied about asking the envoy to help delay a vote in the U. N. Security Council that was seen as damaging to Israel.

Flynn consulted with a senior member of Trump's presidential transition team about “what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian ambassador about the U.S. sanctions,” prosecutors said in a court document.

Flynn called a senior official of Trump’s transition team who was with other members of the team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the prosecutors said,

"Flynn called the Russian ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. sanctions in a reciprocal manner,” the document said. It did not name the senior official in the Trump team.

GUILTY PLEA

Flynn appeared calm as he pleaded guilty in a packed federal courtroom in Washington. His wife, Lori, sat in the first row of benches in the courtroom.

Occasionally as Flynn stood to answer routine questions, his attorney Robert Kelner put his hand on Flynn’s back.

“Guilty, your honor,” Flynn said, when asked by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras how he planned to plea.

Flynn was known for vitriolic campaign appearances in 2016, notably leading Trump supporters' chants of "Lock Her Up," in reference to Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and accusations she misused email while she was secretary of state.

He is the second former senior aide to Trump to be charged in the probe.

Paul Manafort, who ran Trump's presidential campaign for several months last year, was charged in October with conspiring to launder money, conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government.

Manafort, who did not join Trump's administration, and a business associate who was charged with him, pleaded not guilty.

Flynn pleads guilty on Russia, reportedly ready to testify against Trump
 

Related Articles

Biden in Ohio to woo blue-collar voters
Biden in Ohio to woo blue-collar voters By Reuters - Jul 06, 2022 6

By Nandita Bose CLEVELAND (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden touted plans to bolster pension plans for millions of Americans on a visit to Ohio to woo working class voters...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 Dec 05, 2017 4:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Nothing here. Headliner misleading
tony ooh
tony ooh Dec 01, 2017 12:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
as i said in earlier tag line, flynn has said not much. mueller keeps his "team" working throughout trump's second term. flynn is not trustworthy and will flip on mueller. flynn's legal team now will say flynn coerced by mueller team and will flip again. this will end up a ten year novel and will ultimately drag in: clintons, prior administration, dems, and donor base. wait and see.
Holly Sorensen
Holly Sorensen Dec 01, 2017 12:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Exactly. Because anythung having to do with trump, blames everyone but himself, lies to try and make himself look good, and will do everything and anything to drag things out for years and years. Only way to deal with the mentally challenged trump, is to remove him IMMEDIATELY and not let him coerce you and his cult ever again....along with saving our country from complete destruction and making LAST rank in the stability and trust of the United States among the rest of the world that is going to *****past all US progress over the last 50 years. IMPEACH
tony ooh
tony ooh Dec 01, 2017 12:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Holly Sorensen  well of course, all knowing holly. your sophomoric comments are blather and no fact of course. in three more years you can vote again for hillary and biden. and after that election, you can write more hollow posts. tune into the cartoon channel with your peers.
Shane Quillen
Shane Quillen Dec 01, 2017 12:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Some issues should not divide Americans. In my opinion as everyone seems to have one is that we should oppose the arguement in general. I think we all want more happy, Less intolerance and a time like when people used to appreciate the privacy of the ballot box. Happy holidays to ALL.
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 Dec 01, 2017 9:41AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Clinton,Comey free birds?????
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email