Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will reportedly testify in court that President Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.
Flynn's new cooperation with the special counsel investigation is somewhat expected after he cut ties with the White House's lawyers last week.
As part of Flynn's plea deal he agreed to "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the special counsel's office. The Statement of the Offense included important new details, including that Flynn was directed by a senior transition official to contact Russian officials in an effort to influence Russia's response to the Obama Administration's imposition of sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution vote on Israeli settlements, and, crucially, that he reported back to transition officials.
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. "I accept full responsibility for my actions", he said.
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"It is part of an alarming pattern in which the President has already fired the FBI Director; pressured the Attorney General and top USA intelligence officials to interfere with an ongoing investigation; and contemplated issuing pardons for his associates or firing the special counsel, according to numerous press reports", Warner continued. But the decorated military officer was forced to resign after only a few weeks on the job, following the revelation he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about his meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during the transitional period after Trump's election but before he took office.
With his guilty plea, Flynn became the first person who worked in the Trump White House to admit guilt as part of a broad investigation being led by Mueller, who is investigating alleged coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, the AP said.
Friday's news made clear that Trump's inner circle, if not the president himself, are increasingly under threat by Mueller's investigation.
In January, the country's top intelligence chiefs said they had strong evidence showing Moscow had interfered in the campaign, by hacking and disinformation operations, specifically to boost Trump's chances of winning. Mueller has already indicted Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, and Gates, his deputy campaign manager and a longtime Manafort associate, on charges involving money laundering and other offenses, and it's not known whether Manafort and Gates might also decide to tell all to Mueller in exchange for a deal.
The US continues to reel as further information comes out about apparent attempts by Russian Federation to influence the recent presidential election and sow discord within America though fake social media accounts.