Special Counsel Robert Mueller yesterday charged General Michael Flynn with a single offense of lying to the FBI over his contacts with Russia whilst part of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. As reported by the Independent, Flynn has admitted that he was under orders from senior members of Trump’s team when he made contact with Russian officials to ask the Kremlin not to respond to sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama. Flynn also says that he is “fully cooperating” with the Mueller Investigation team.
“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.
“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
As reported by ABC News, the single charge against Flynn reflects the charge faced by George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign advisor. Like Papadopoulos, Flynn could have faced much more serious charges. President Trump’s former national security advisor could have been charged with negotiating on behalf of the United States with foreign entities. Flynn could also have faced charges relating to his failure to properly register his lobbying work on behalf of foreign governments.
As reported by Buzzfeed, Flynn has admitted that he was under the supervision of the Turkish government whilst he was advising President Trump. It is interesting that Flynn said that his decision to cooperate with the Mueller investigation was made partly in the interests of his family. As previously reported in the Inquisitr, Flynn was concerned that his son, Michael Flynn Jr., was in legal peril over his business dealings with Turkey and Russia.
As reported by CNN, Michael Flynn’s indictment is a much more serious problem for Donald Trump than the charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Those charges relate to their business dealings, tax evasion, and money laundering. President Trump was able to dismiss the guilty plea by Papadopoulos as a minor offense by a low-level member of his campaign team. Trump won’t be able to say the same thing about Flynn, who was at the very heart of Donald Trump’s inner circle.
What is reportedly clear is that Flynn cut a plea bargain with the Mueller investigation team in exchange for incriminating information on other members of Trump’s inner circle. We already know that Jared Kushner was present with Flynn during meetings with Russian officials, and Time claims that Kushner is the “very senior transition official” referenced in court papers filed in the Michael Flynn case.
If Kushner is next in Mueller’s sights, that takes the Mueller investigation right to the heart of the Trump family. It has been widely reported that the Mueller investigation is looking closely at Jared Kushner’s role in Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey. The key question is whether that decision amounts to obstruction of justice by Kushner or even by President Trump himself.
As reported by CNN, the Flynn guilty plea means that “there is absolutely no thinking person who could possibly believe that Trump’s presidency is not in some level of peril now.” The Mueller investigation is now at the heart of both Trump’s administration and his family. It seems likely that things are set to get very uncomfortable for President Donald Trump.