Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, is identified as the “very senior” official who directed Michael Flynn around December 22 to contact foreign officials, according to two sources familiar with the matter. At the time, Flynn was serving as Trump’s national security adviser, and has recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his activities.
According to CNBC, Flynn was instructed to contact Russian officials regarding a UN resolution condemning Israel.
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in about his contact with Sergey Kislyak, who was then serving as the Russian Ambassador, in December 2016. He also admitted to lying about his involvement in pushing foreign officials to either delay or defeat the UN resolution condemning Israel’s settlement building activities.
According to a court document filed by Flynn and his attorneys, “On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition team directed FLYNN to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.”
The document also asserted that Flynn falsely claimed that, on December 29, he had not asked Kislyak to avoid escalating the situation involving sanctions imposed against Russia by the US, which was reportedly based on Flynn’s assertion that the incoming administration would reverse the sanctions imposed by the outgoing Obama administration.
The false statements to the FBI reportedly occurred on January 24, two days after Flynn assumed the post of national security adviser.
As reported by NBC News, a source close to Trump stated that the investigative developments regarding Flynn are “very, very, very bad.”
Some White House officials are concerned that, by cooperating with the Mueller investigation, Flynn will provide information that could harm the president.
By pleading guilty, Flynn has become the first senior White House official to cooperate with the special counsel investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
The charges levied against Flynn could result in a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, it is unknown if the federal judge who is assigned to the case will impose such a penalty, especially since prosecutors may recommend probation and a fine instead of jail time.