Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty December 1 to lying to the FBI, and in a statement said that he is cooperating with the investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
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In a statement he released after his morning court appearance, shown here on CNBC, Flynn said he was working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
Flynn admitted to lying about discussions with the Russian ambassador in December 2016. Flynn appeared in court to address the federal charging document that said he “willfully and knowingly” made “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements.”
Lying to the FBI can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.
In another court document filed December 1, Flynn admits to talking with a senior transition official in Mar-a-Lago, Florida about the issues to take up with Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Flynn’s actions were lawful and said that there was no collusion between his 2016 White House campaign and Russia.
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies,” Trump said on Twitter. “It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
“What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion,“ Trump also told reporters. ”There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy.”
In a statement reported by The Washington Post, White House attorney Ty Cobb responded to Flynn’s admission: “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”
As NPR reported at the time, Trump fired Flynn in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over the nature of Flynn’s meetings with the Russian ambassador.
In March, Flynn offered to be interviewed by the FBI and House and Senate committees regarding alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia, in exchange for immunity, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The price of U.S. stocks fell, while gold surged on the news of Flynn’s plea. Bloomberg reported that the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.6 percent as of 11:20 EST, 11/30, while gold prices spiked by 0.8 percent.
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