Note that the ‘false statements’ involve conversations over sanctions against Russia and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. As for any ‘collusion’ over the Presidential election, it’s a big, fat nothing burger.
From Fox News
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI – as part of a deal that involves his full cooperation with investigators in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Court documents show Flynn has told investigators a “very senior member” of the Trump transition team directed him to contact foreign governments including Russia over a United Nations vote – discussions tied to one of Flynn’s false statements.
While it is unclear who Flynn himself is prepared to name, Fox News has been told by a former senior intelligence officer with knowledge of Trump transition activities that then-President-Elect Trump directed Flynn during that period to contact the Russians — while also directing him and his team to contact 12 other countries.
“The transition team felt that the Obama White House had completely abandoned any coherent foreign policy and had to fill the vacuum,” the former official told Fox News.
The purpose of the calls, according to the source, was to assure the other nations that the incoming administration would soon be in place and not to overreact to last-minute actions taken by the Obama team.
In a statement, White House lawyer Ty Cobb said “nothing” about the plea implicates anyone other than Flynn.
The documents also say Flynn called an unnamed senior transition official in December to ask what to communicate to the Russian ambassador about sanctions. That official and Flynn discussed how they didn’t want Russia to “escalate the situation,” something Flynn immediately told the ambassador in a phone call.
……In his statement, White House lawyer Cobb said: “The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year. Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”
Flynn entered the plea at a federal court in Washington, D.C., shortly after Mueller’s office released a one-count charging document. The false-statements charge pertains to Flynn’s interactions with the Russian ambassador in late December — specifically discussions about sanctions and other matters he apparently claimed never happened.
Flynn was accused of “willfully and knowingly” making the false statements to the FBI.
According to the charging document, those false statements were that:
- “On or about Dec 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States … to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
- “On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.”
The latter statement appears to refer to the body’s vote a day later to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
That’s it? That’s all they’ve got is Flynn telling fibs over his discussions with the Russian Ambassador over sanctions?
With shitty odds like this, you’d think the Dems would have quit the narrative.
What it boils down to is a ‘process violation’:
The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election.
It is believed to have been recorded by the FBI because Kislyak, as an agent of a foreign power, was subject to monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions. In being questioned by the agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”
……Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed. Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials.
Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.
In January, the FBI released a report which contained a transcript of the monitored calls to the Russian ambassador, and found nothing illicit.
Bottom line: Flynn, who was a member of Trumps’ transition team, was engaged in a perfectly legitimate activity calling the Russian ambassador, but has been charged with a process violation for making inaccurate statements about the conversation he knew was being recorded anyway.