Trump-Russia investigation: Ex-NSA pleads guilty to lying to FBI
US President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to giving a false testimony to the FBI about his meetings with the Russian ambassador in the weeks before Trump assumed office. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, brought forward the charges. Flynn is the senior-most Trump administration member to be indicted.
In February, US President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was reportedly forced to resigned. The move came after several news-outlets reported that former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates had warned the White House that Flynn may have been vulnerable to blackmail from Russia. Flynn had reportedly spoken to the Russian ambassador about sanctions prior to Trump's inauguration and misled US officials.
Flynn confessed to one count of knowingly making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements." The judge in a Washington, DC, the federal court accepted Flynn's guilty plea and ruled that he won't face trial. Flynn is likely to serve less than six-months in prison. He also revealed that he is cooperating with Mueller's investigation. Muellers team had earlier indicted Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
In a statement, the White House said, "nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn." However, Flynn's statement to prosecutors appears to implicate an unnamed, more senior member of the Trump team, who could be the new subject of Mueller's investigation. Multiple US news outlets reported that Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner may be under the scanner.
Flynn's guilty plea and decision to cooperate with Mueller could mean bad news for Trump. Flynn has told prosecutors that he discussed his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in December 2016 with Trump presidential transition officials. This contradicts Trump's public statements that Flynn was acting independently and against orders. If proved, Flynn's assertions would have a wide-ranging impact on the Trump administration.