Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI; Source close to Trump calls plea deal “very, very, very bad.”
On December 1, 2017, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn issued a guilty plea in response to charges that he lied to the FBI. Flynn will be cooperating fully with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump Campaign’s involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, ABC News reports.
According to the report, Flynn promised his “full cooperation” with the Special Counsel’s investigation. According to an unnamed Flynn confidant, Flynn is prepared to testify that then-President Elect Trump directed him to make contact with the Russian Government, at first to come up with a way to work together to combat ISIS in Syria.
Michael Flynn reportedly was left feeling abandoned by the President in recent weeks and appears to have accepted a plea deal as he grew “increasingly concerned about crippling legal costs he would face if he continued to contest the charges,” according to ABC News. Under the charges, Flynn could face up to five years in prison.
After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of “treason” and other outrageous acts. Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for.
But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.
Donald Trump and his legal team reportedly learned of Michael Flynn’s decision to cooperate with investigators via media reports the morning of Friday, December 1. According to MSNBC, a source close to Trump said that Flynn’s plea deal is “very, very, very bad.”
Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI regarding the nature and content of his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States during the 2016 campaign. The charges carry a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 5 years if convicted.
Market Volatility in Response to Flynn Guilty Plea
Stocks dropped sharply as the news broke that Flynn had promised his full cooperation with the Mueller team’s investigation and that he was prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russian government.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped approximately 0.6%—or 147 points, while Nasdaq dropped 78 points and the S&P 500 fell 19 points. The declines come after U.S. stock markets set records on November 30, 2017, on signals that tax legislation backed by Republicans would pass in the Senate. The volatility is a direct response to growing anxiety about U.S. President Donald Trump’s direct exposure to the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election.
Russian ambassador says the list of Trump officials he interacted with is “so long.”
In remarks made during an extensive interview with state-owned television channel Russia-1, former Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak declined to list the Trump officials he met with or spoke to during the U.S. presidential campaign. “First, I’m never going to do that,” the ambassador said. “And second, the list is so long that I’m not going to be able to go through it in 20 minutes.”
The interview followed testimony to the House Judiciary Committee by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about whether he lied about the meetings he had with Kislyak during the campaign when he was a senator. Sessions, reportedly, met with Kislyak twice in 2016. The meetings occurred once at the Republican National Convention, and another time in Sessions’ Senate office in Washington, DC.