By Luis Mila
Lying to the F.B.I. is no menial issue, especially when it comes to colluding with Russia. President Trump’s former national security officer Michael T. Flynn has pleaded guilty today under these allegations.
Flynn’s pre-presidential inauguration discussions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, took place last December. They coordinated in multiple ways in order to get president-elect Trump into office. The idea was to create a foreign policy – one of which undermined the pre-existing strategy of President Barack Obama. The meddling in foreign affairs caught the attention of a senior Obama administration official, who warned the two to stop meddling until after the inauguration process had been completed.
Official court documents do not disclose if Trump had any prior knowledge in regards to Flynn’s discussions. However, in a singular instance, federal prosecutors stated that Flynn was directed by a member of the presidential transition team who was a senior. Lawyers believe this senior member to be Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Trump’s transition team consisted of: Vice President Mike Pence, Kushner, Reince Priebus, and K.T. McFarland, who was Flynn’s deputy. McFarland and Flynn spoke about sanctions against Russia with Mr.Kislyak, which he previously said he hadn’t, which is the lie he is now being scrutinized for. As Flynn decided to plead guilty on this case, a new phase has been shifted into in regards to the investigation of the special counsel – Robert S. Mueller III – and a development for the President and his administrators, whose actions are currently under fire by the F.B.I.
Sally Q. Yates, an Obama-era holdover who is serving as acting attorney general, warned Trump about the possible dangers of Russia blackmailing Flynn for lying. Yates was soon fired over a completely unrelated matter by the President. Flynn’s punishment came two weeks later when The Washington Post reported that officials knew that Flynn and Russia’s ambassador had discussed sanctions. This worried Kislyak that the Trump administration would revisit the issue once he was in office. Flynn was eventually fired, the reasoning was that he misled Mike Pence.
Regretting his decision, the President pressed James B. Comey – a lawyer and previous Director of the F.B.I. – to go easy on Flynn. Comey was eventually fired from the Russia investigation, which resulted in the appointment of Mueller.
Flynn denied “false accusations of treason,” but agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, who are currently determining whether Trump’s campaign interacted with Russians during the elections, and whether the President or his administration wanted to cover up these actions.
“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,” Said Flynn .
“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.”
During the court hearing, prosecutors noted Flynn’s activities during the transition, his discussion with Kislyak, and the communication with Russia and other countries about their private votes in the United Nations resolution. Nothing was disclosed about any new details involving Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and if they were, there’s no data to determine if any of the Trump associates had been involved.
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicated anyone other than Mr.Flynn,” said Mr.Cobb, Trump’s lawyer.
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr.Flynn,”
Flynn’s condition was taken into account by the president’s staff, who tried to weaken his sentence. Ty Cobb, who took part in the Russia inquiry made attempts to lessen the impact of Flynn’s deal with federal authorities. He stated that Flynn served only briefly in the administration, and was only guilty of lying under a single count to the F.B.I.
The hearing lasted 45 minutes, and was quite belittling of Mr.Flynn. Previously a decorated Army general, who rose in the ranks to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency. Fired by Obama before joining the Trump campaign, and being an early supporter, he was tapped to become the national security adviser – a high-ranking and powerful position. The prosecutors attacked Flynn repeatedly, for he had lied to investigators about his relations with Russia, on behalf of the Turkish government.
Flynn’s ranks dropped in seconds as he made his final agreement to full-on cooperation. He agreed to provide all prosecutors with any and all information they request, to take a polygraph, and participate in covert law enforcement activities. Flynn’s sentence was delayed, as lying to the F.B.I. carries a penalty of five years in prison, but Flynn is more likely to face around zero to six months. Allowed to leave, Flynn was told to check in with authorities on a weekly basis.
Further investigation had revealed that Flynn had asked Kislyak if Moscow can refrain from placing emphasis on the situation, as a response to the sanctions announced by Obama’s administration that day against Russia. Kislyak replied that Russia “had chosen to moderate its response.”
President Vladimir V. Putin said Moscow would not attack the United States in response to sanctions the following day. Trump praised the President for his decision.
Source:: The Harbinger