Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI about Russia links

The former general said it was 'painful to endure false accusation of treason'

Andrew Buncombe
New York
@AndrewBuncombe
Friday 01 December 2017 16:58
comments
Mr Flynn pleaded guilty to one charge of lying to investigators when he appeared in court
Mr Flynn pleaded guilty to one charge of lying to investigators when he appeared in court

President Donald Trump’s former National Security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI - a move that has sharply raised the stakes for the President.

Prosecutors said Mr Flynn met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the behest of a senior member of the President-elect's transition team. They said he did to discuss new sanctions imposed by Barack Obama and how Russia should respond to them,

The 58-year-old former army general appeared in a court in Washington DC where Judge Rudolph Contreras accepted his plea to lying to federal agents about his conversations with Russian’s Ambassador to Washington DC.

The indictment says Mr Flynn had denied asking Mr Kislyak to refrain from responding in kind to sanctions imposed by Mr Obama over Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

As such, Mr Flynn is apparently acknowledging that three weeks before Mr Trump took office, he spoke with Russia’s top envoy on a matter of significant strategic importance. Some commentators suggested this could have been a breach of the Logan Act which prohibits unauthorised individuals negotiating with foreign countries in dispute with the government.

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The Associated Press said as part of a plea deal, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has admitted that a senior member of the Trump transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016.

Mr Flynn did not speak in court, other than to say he would plead guilty.

Mr Flynn later issued a statement saying it had been “painful to endure false accusation of treason and other outrageous acts”.

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