Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty: What You Need to Know

Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI

"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", he said.

Flynn is the first person inside President Donald Trump's administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

As part of Flynn's plea deal he agreed to "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the special counsel's office.

The charges against Flynn were brought on by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that Russian Federation may have had a hand in tampering with last year's presidential election.

In the court document, Mueller says Flynn made false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when he denied asking the Russian ambassador in December 2016 to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the sanctions.

Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI

Stocks quickly fell Friday following former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's guilty plea in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, with investors seeming particularly spooked by reports, which have yet to be confirmed, that Flynn is prepared to testify directly against President Donald Trump.

Trump's former national security adviser admitted to lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump's inauguration.

Flynn is accused of falsely telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he did not ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to [the] sanctions". "I accept full responsibility for my actions", he said.

White House attorney Ty Cobb downplayed the significance of Flynn's decision to cooperate with Mueller, though the former Trump adviser said that he had kept senior administration officials apprised of his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential transition a year ago.

In a February 14 meeting at the White House, Trump reportedly told then-FBI Director Comey to "let this go".

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"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn", he said.

Mueller's investigators have interviewed members of Trump's family, his top advisors, business partners and lawyers over their actions.

"Since the first day I took office, all you hear is the phony Democrat excuse for losing the election, Russia, Russia, Russia", he tweeted last week.

In October, Paul Manafort, Trump's one-time campaign chairman, and Manafort's deputy Rick Gates were arrested on money laundering and tax-related charges in relation to their work for Moscow-backed Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Our investigation in Congress is not only looking at the actions of individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, but is also examining the broader issues of how the Russians worked to undermine our election and what steps we as a nation can take to harden our electoral process in future.

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