Former US NSA pleads guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

These tweets could be hiding more than we realized

Retired general Michael Flynn, who was President Trump's national security adviser before resigning in February, will plead guilty on Friday to making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, multiple sources reported.

Flynn also agreed to cooperate with Mueller's probe, which focuses on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible coordination between Russia and Trump's team in the campaign that sent the Republican businessman to the White House.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office announced the charge before Flynn appeared in a Virginia courtroom Friday morning to enter the plea.

This is a developing story - check back for updates.

Flynn said he accepted responsibility for his actions and added: "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".

Flynn, responding to questions from the Washington Post, once again denies any discussions with Kislyak about sanctions.

Here's what you need to know about Michael Flynn's guilty plea.

The split from the White House suggested to many that Flynn was about to start coorperating with the independent investigation headed by Robert Mueller.

To start with, and there are already reports to this effect, Flynn can say it was President-elect Trump and/or other Trump aides who directed him to say what he did to Kislyak.

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The sanctions were ordered in response to "aggressive harassment of United States officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election", Obama said in a statement on December 29, 2016.

The court filings Friday describe a "very senior member" of Trump's transition team who directed Flynn to contact officials from UN Security Council countries, including Russian Federation, to learn where each country stood on the vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.

"I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong", Flynn said in a statement. They also extend to false statements that Flynn made in regard to his company, the Flynn Intel Group, in connection with his work as a lobbyist and consultant to the government of Turkey.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb told The Associated Press that Flynn's guilty plea and pledge to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation does not implicate "anyone other than Mr. Flynn".

Lefcourt, a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said it signals that Mueller believes information from Flynn will be used to successfully prosecute other Trump associates.

At the center of this story is a mystery that will propel the rest of the inquiry: What was Trump so anxious about that it made him deny contacts with Russian Federation and denounce attempts to investigate those contacts?

"Nothing that I heard, your honor", Flynn replied.

Warner noted that it's the second Trump campaign associate to plead guilty to making false statements, while former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy are facing a slew of charges.

The same day, George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor who had sought to arrange a pre-election meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to investigators in a deal that made clear he too was cooperating in their investigation.

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