(Washington Times) Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been criminally charged with lying to the FBI amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and is expected to plead guilty Friday.
Mr. Flynn was charged with one count of making false statements regarding interactions with Russian officials after the presidential election.
The charge stems from a Jan. 24 interview FBI agents had with Mr. Flynn about his interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — the interview was conducted just four days after President Trump was sworn into office.
A plea hearing for Mr. Flynn has been set for Friday morning, according to the special counsel.
The special counsel filed a criminal information, a step typically taken when a person has agreed to plead guilty, that charges Mr. Flynn with one count of lying to FBI agents.
The special counsel prosecutors said Mr. Flynn lied when he told FBI agents that during a Dec. 29 conversation, he did not ask Mr. Kislyak “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to the sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russian that same day.”
The filing indicates that Mr. Flynn also said he did not remember Mr. Kislyak later telling him that Russia had chosen a moderate response to the sanctions as a result of his requests.
Prosecutors also assert that Mr. Flynn lied when he told investigators that he did not ask Mr. Kislyak to delay the vote on a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.
A plea hearing for Mr. Flynn is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at the federal courthouse in Washington.
Mr. Flynn, who rose to the rank of lieutenant general over his 33-year career in the Army, was a close adviser to Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign before becoming his White House national security adviser. But he resigned in February after Vice President Mike Pence said Mr. Flynn misled him about the extent of his contacts with Mr. Kislyak.
A Republican operative who has worked with the White House said of the development with Mr. Flynn: “Predictable from day one.”
ABC News reported that Mr. Trump and his legal team learned about Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea Friday morning via news reports. Mr. Flynn’s lawyers had notified the president’s legal team recently that they would not be sharing information any more about Mr. Mueller’s investigation.