Reports say Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged President Trump’s former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn with lying to the FBI. This is the second major legal action in the special prosecutor’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and another major blow to the Trump Administration’s credibility.
News of the charge broke Friday morning, and Flynn is expected to plead guilty to the charges.
“According to an information released by Mueller’s office, Flynn willfully made ‘false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a matter within the jurisdiction’ of the U.S. government, including the FBI,” The Daily Mail reports.
Flynn is expected to appear in court in Virginia on Friday morning. There’s still some uncertainty about the charge. As the Mail notes, “the nature of the charge, which did not come from a federal grand jury, raised the possibility of a guilty plea that would involve cooperation with Mueller’s expansive probe.”
A guilty plea is highly unexpected.
Flynn was instrumental in the campaign, and championed by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
“Flynn would hold the job [of National Security Advisor] less than a month,” CNN writes, “resigning from the post after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and then-chief of staff Reince Priebus about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in which they discussed US sanctions against Russia.”
“Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak attracted scrutiny from federal investigators as part of the FBI’s broader counterintelligence investigation of Russian activities in the US, and the calls were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomat.”
“Flynn resigned on February 13 after reports that he and Kislyak had spoken about sanctions and that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”
Flynn’s discussions with the Russians were news to Vice President Pence, and Flynn’s deceptions didn’t end there. The expected plea deal will likely put Flynn in Mueller’s camp.
Mueller’s investigation into the Russian meddling in the election has contained bombshell surprises, like this one. The secrecy that Mueller employs has reportedly created an atmosphere of paranoia within Washington circles.