White House Plays Down Importance Of Flynn Guilty Plea

Michael Flynn, former Trump national security advisor, reaches plea deal with special counsel

Flynn was formally charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday, and has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over his December 2016 phone call to Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Flynn was taken into custody Friday morning.

This is a developing story - check back for updates.

"My guilty plea and agreement to co-operate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country".

Here's what you need to know about Michael Flynn's guilty plea.

Flynn is the fourth former Trump associate to face charges in the investigation, the first who actually served in Trump's White House. The prosecutors say that Flynn cleared his comments to Kislyak beforehand with an unnamed official who is described as "a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team" who was staying with Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump, at a news conference, says in response to Flynn's resignation: "I don't think he did anything wrong".

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn released a statement following the news that he has been charged with making false statements to federal investigators about his conversations last December with Russia's ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey Kislyak.

The documents allege that Flynn lied about conversations with the Russian Ambassador at the time, Sergei Kislyak.

Following his plea, Flynn left the court with his head down and released a statement agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel and said he accepted full responsibility of his actions.

In a January 24 interview with investigators, Flynn denied having asked Kislyak to moderate Russia's response to new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, announced by Obama in retaliation for Moscow's interference in the 2016 election.

Flynn is the most senior member of the Trump administration to have been indicted by the special counsel thus far.

Those officials discussed the details of what Flynn was supposed to communicate to the Russians about USA sanctions imposed by the Obama administration.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing in federal court in Washington, DC on Friday, rejected what he called "false accusations" that he is guilty of treason and other "outrageous acts", but said that he takes "full responsibility" for the actions he admitted to in court.

Flynn resigns after the Washington Post discloses that he has misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak.

"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn".

This past Valentine's Day, President Trump asked then FBI Director James Comey to stick around following a meeting with a group of national security officials in the Oval Office.

Next, Flynn can tell Mueller what, if anything, he knows about the contacts between Russian Federation and a series of Trump officials in 2016, including meetings, emails, phone calls and trips involving Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Carter Page, Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos.

Apparently, Mueller's team was seeking a deal of some kind to win Flynn's cooperation in that investigation.

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