Michael Flynn: Trump’s national security adviser lied about his contact with Russian ambassador, Mueller sentencing memo confirms

Flynn's lawyers claimed he had been entrapped

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Monday 17 December 2018 20:14
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Trump: FBI said Michael Flynn didn't lie

Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn, lied about his contact with a Russian ambassador, a sentencing memo filed by Robert Mueller has confirmed.

The 60-year-old former army general last year pleaded guilt to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, among them Russia’s former US ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The special counsel has said because of his cooperation, Flynn should receive no jail time.

Flynn’s lawyers, along with with Mr Trump, have accused the FBI of trying to entrap Flynn, something the special counsel’s office has rejected.

Last week, Mr Mueller’s office sent a note to the court, saying: “He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth. The defendant undoubtedly was aware, in light of his “many years” working with the FBI, that lying to the FBI carries serious consequences.”

On Monday night, hours before Flynn was due to be sentenced, Mueller published portions of the FBI’s interviews with Flynn at the request of the judge hearing the case.

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The documents, which are once again heavily redacted, show that FBI agents interviewed Flynn about his contacts with Russia, including past trips to the country and his conversations with Mr Kislyak,

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about the contents of those conversations with the Russian envoy.

The notes show Flynn told agents he did not tell Mr Kislyak not to escalate its response to Obama administration sanctions on Russia, though last year he admitted last year that he did.

The filing of the memo came on the day that two of Flynn’s business associates were charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey as part of a campaign to pressure the nation to expel a Turkish cleric.

The Associated Press said Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin were accused in an indictment of conspiring to “covertly and unlawfully” influence US public opinion and politicians, while concealing the Turkish government was controlling their work.

The campaign took place during the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign while Flynn was a top surrogate for Mr Trump’s campaign.

The AP said the case sheds further light on how Flynn and those around him worked to benefit a foreign country in the months before he became one of America’s top national security officials. The goal of the work was to get the United States to expel Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the country.

Mr Gulen, who holds a US green card and lives in Pennsylvania, is a rival of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr Erdogan has accused the cleric of directing a failed coup, and wants the US to extradite him. Mr Gulen has denied the allegations.

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