Washington (CNN)Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador.
In court Friday morning, Flynn's only comments were to answer yes and no to questions from the judge.He is the first official of President Donald Trump's campaign and the fourth connected to his campaign to be charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.
The White House is already spinning this as "a win." Interesting approach.
Less than a year in and two people involved in the Campaign and/or Administration have pleaded guilty and two more are under indictment.
"And on Friday morning, ABC’s Brian Ross reported that Flynn is indeed prepared to testify against President Trump himself — and to say that Trump personally directed him to make contact with Russians."
Now that is verrrry interesting.
He's flipped, folks!
"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 guess the best defense is an offense.
Is it wrong to want to see the entire Trump family in handcuffs?
yahooyahoo said:The White House is already spinning this as "a win."
Eamon Javers of CNBC reported that he has been told that while Flynn has only plead guilty to the single charge of making false statements to the FBI, prosecutors are holding other charges which they might use depending on how much Flynn cooperates.
eta - I'm guessing that this would include charges against Flynn Jr. (although I really would like to see Flynn Jr. go to jail.)
Once the tax bill monstrosity gets signed, I can see GOP members of Congress looking for an exit ticket off the Trump Train.
They want the Orange Menace to stick around long enough to sign the tax bill. Then they can try to place blame on him later.
MOSCOW — Leading Russian lawmakers rushed to defend President Trump’s former national security adviser on Tuesday after he resigned for misleading senior White House officials, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Russia.The heads of the foreign affairs committees in both Russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament chalked up Michael Flynn’s resignation to a dark campaign of Russophobia in Washington, and said it would undermine relations between the White House and the Kremlin.
"Lock him up! Lock him up!"
How sweet must this be for so many - CNN, HRC, etc. Supposedly, Flynn will name two higher-ups.
Dude subtweets biblically.
dave said:They want the Orange Menace to stick around long enough to sign the tax bill. Then they can try to place blame on him later.
ctrzaska said: dave said:They want the Orange Menace to stick around long enough to sign the tax bill. Then they can try to place blame on him later. Yup. Win/win.
Today's timing of the bill (probably) passing and the Mueller's noose tightening is perfect in this scenario. Since Trump looks out only for himself, it would be quite amusing to see if he threatens to not sign the bill unless he can extract guarantees from the GOP that they not pursue his ouster. He signs the bill and loses all leverage. Congress gets their donors back and Pence in the Oval Office (which they would prefer to Trump by a lot).
Depends on what Flynn actually has. If all he has is his word that Trump told him to go to the Russians, then it will not amount to much at all. But if he has it in writing or on tape, from Trump or one of the Trumpettes, it will be meaningful.
I don't think Mueller would offer such a deal if the payoff were to be nothing.
I imagine the glee with which Trump will take in dismantling more of Obama's accomplishments and the tax breaks the bill gives his family will ultimately lead him to sign it.
Welcoming in the Christmas season.
That is just what I was thinking. What a bunch of creeps.
Stoughton said:Once the tax bill monstrosity gets signed, I can see GOP members of Congress looking for an exit ticket off the Trump Train.
oh my gosh. Latest breaking news looks really bad for Kushner. I’m giddy.
mfpark said:Depends on what Flynn actually has. If all he has is his word that Trump told him to go to the Russians, then it will not amount to much at all. But if he has it in writing or on tape, from Trump or one of the Trumpettes, it will be meaningful.
The plea leaves open the possibility of further prosecution for offenses not named in the agreement. So Mueller has leverage over Flynn that he'd better pony up the goods.
I hear rumours that Kushner will be implicated.
You know - this Flynn thing, so far, seems like a whole lotta nuthin.
Flynn made it worse by lying to the FBI, for some damn reason, but the root "offense" is pretty much nuthin'. He talked to the Russian ambassador out of turn? Oh my!
I'm not crazy about going after people for lying to the FBI. (Is lying to your municipal police also a criminal offense? I'm thinking no. Why does the FBI get special treatment?)
Moeller is not impressing me so far.
I can't find it now but I read a Twitter post that said the most beautiful end to this story would be Ivanka Trump having to choose between implicating her beloved father or saving her husband. Impeachment won't be satisfying enough. I want to see his entire family crumble around him with his son and son in law in jail,him impeached, and his daughter estranged from him because of her choice.
The full text of Flynn's Plea Agreement. Paragraph 8 "Cooperation" allows the government to withdraw any obligations that it has under the agreement in the event that Flynn does not cooperate fully with the government, and it is strictly up to the government to determine whether Flynn has cooperated fully.
I'm holding out for DT dying naked on the floor of a prison bathroom as a result of a Russian-wielded shank.
May be the first time, but I actually agree with DB. Fynn lied about something he didn't need to lie about. And it was all after the election, so collusion during the campaign isn't even in play with what we have been told. And Flynn didn't say Trump told him to speak with the Russians he said it was a high level member of the transition team. Kushner?? That would be my guess. Question is...does he roll on daddy about any election collusion?
And if Mueller had any real evidence of collusion he wouldn't have offered Fynn such a great deal of only one charge. I don't think Flynn has much more to offer or he wouldn't have gotten the deal already (yes, I know they are holding other charges if he lies), and no way Mueller puts him on the stand. He would be crushed during cross examination as a guy who only tells the truth when he wants to, "look at his felony record, He lied to the FBI and now we are supposed to believe him?" Not going to happen.
Unfortunately today's plea will not amount to much against Trump. And while some charges are being filed, they are not the ones I was waiting for or the ones Mueller was expected to get.
cramer said:The full text of Flynn's Plea Agreement. Paragraph 8 "Cooperation" allows the government to withdraw any obligations that it has under the agreement in the event that Flynn does not cooperate fully with the government, and it is strictly up to the government to determine whether Flynn has cooperated fully. https://www.justice.gov/file/1015121/download
According to the plea agreement, if the agreement is voided the government can prosecute him for any crime arising out of the “Statement of Facts” attached to the plea. That is the interesting part. (The link Cramer provided is the plea agreement but does not include the Statement of Stipulated Facts).
EricBurbank said:Unfortunately today's plea will not amount to much against Trump. And while some charges are being filed, they are not the ones I was waiting for or the ones Mueller was expected to get.
Remember, we don't know what we don't know.
Mueller has been laying down his cards in a very deliberate manner. It was only last week when Flynn lawyers told Trump he's off the team. Now, what seems like a weak-sauce guilty plea. But there's nothing in there saying that Mueller won't go after the more serious charges or against Flynn, Jr.
This can serve two goals. First, it keeps the Flynns cooperating wholeheartedly. If Mueller had thrown the kitchen sink at them, the Flynns might have been tempted to undercut what they gave to Mueller in the proffer (think Frank Pentangeli in "Godfather II").
More importantly, it sends a clear message to Kushner, Bannon and others who have relevant information adverse to the president: there still could be a visa out of Casablanca. With all of the stuff they had on Flynn, he gets a deal that might even keep him out of prison. But no one knows how many of those sugar plums are left or exactly how many people might be trying to get one. If I'm representing someone in the White House, I think I have to advise my client to explore the possibility of cutting and running.
If you look past the PR baloney, the White House was stunned, yet again, by Mueller's ability to keep huge pieces of information secret. They found out about Flynn on the news. Trump and his cronies are leaking backstabbers and publicity hounds. It's hard for them to understand how someone could maintain such secrecy and it terrifies them. No one has any idea if the person next to them at the coffee machine is working on a deal with Mueller.
The joke about a Ponzi scheme is that you can do well as long as you get in and out early enough. The same principle applies here, but the tipping point is rapidly approaching. I think the announced Flynn deal is calculated to have everyone with relevant knowledge, perhaps even the president's children, angling for a similar arrangement before the train leaves the station.
That's how plea deals work. You plea to something little and, if you cooperate, they don't prosecute you on the big things.
You see this sometimes with shootings where the guy who pulled the trigger gets a couple of years for manslaughter because he testified against the guy who drove the get away car, who gets life for murder.
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