Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge of providing a false statement to federal officials, as a hearing has been set for Friday morning. Flynn was officially charged in a criminal information filed on Thursday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s office.
The filing specified two false statements that Flynn allegedly made on January 24. Both pertained to his conversations with the Russian ambassador. One discussion allegedly involved Flynn asking the ambassador to delay a vote on a U.N. Security Council Resolution, and the other allegedly involved Flynn asking for Russia to temper their response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration.
Both of these conversations are said to have occurred in December 2016, and Flynn had allegedly said that he did not ask such things of the Russian ambassador.
The plea could be a strong sign that Flynn is preparing to cooperate with Mueller in his investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russian attempts to interfere with last year’s presidential election. This comes a week after Flynn reportedly ended an information-sharing agreement with President Donald Trump‘s legal team. A New York Times article noted that such moves can indicate that someone in Flynn’s position could be negotiating with prosecutors.
Now it remains to be seen what kind of sentence he’ll get, and what—if anything—he’s giving to Mueller’s office in return.
Flynn was charged with violating 18 USC § 1001(a)(2), which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Update: An ABC News report that Flynn is willing to testify that Donald Trump directed him to contact the Russians during the campaign has since been corrected, with reporter Brian Ross being suspended.
This article has been updated.
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