Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Former Trump adviser Flynn pleads guilty, admits lying to FBI

Published:Friday | December 1, 2017 | 12:57 PM
Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington, on Friday. – AP Photo

Former United States national security adviser Michael Flynn today pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

He is the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Court documents show Flynn, an early and vocal supporter on the campaign trail of President Donald Trump whose business dealings and foreign interactions made him a central focus of Mueller’s investigation, will admit to lying about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump’s inauguration.

The expected guilty plea makes the retired army lieutenant general the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation.

The probe is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Flynn 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 co-operating with Mueller’s investigation in exchange for leniency.

He was present for consequential moments in the campaign, the transition period and the early days of Trump’s presidency, making him a valuable potential tool for prosecutors and agents.