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White House Plays Down Importance Of Flynn Guilty Plea

White House Plays Down Importance Of Flynn Guilty Plea

"Jared Kushner is the "very senior member" of President Donald Trump's transition team" who directed incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to investigators, in a deal in which he pledged to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller's wide-reaching investigation into Trump, his family, staff and advisors. In the first statement Flynn made on December 29, 2016, Flynn denied making a request to a Russian ambassador to "refrain from escalating the situation" after the USA imposed sanctions on Russia and Flynn denied recalling that the Russian ambassador then stated they will "moderate" their response due the the request.

The charges against Flynn relate to a series of discussions the general had last December, during the presidential transition, when he reportedly told Kislyak that Trump's White House might go easy on sanctions against Russian Federation that were imposed by President Obama and asked Kislyak to sabotage a United Nations resolution on Israel that Obama's White House supported.

On the same day Mueller's office announced the indictments of Manafort and Gates, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos, a 30-year-old former Trump adviser, had pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian Federation.

The Special Counsel's probe has found illegal behavior stretching into the senior most levels of the White House.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities on October 30 after he was indicted, along with his business associate Rick Gates, on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the USA and money laundering.

Trump fired Flynn in February, citing an "evolving and eroding level of trust" after the former national security adviser lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with Kislyak.

Trump names Flynn as his national security advisor.

"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Flynn".

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee earlier this year that she had warned the White House about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak so that the Trump administration "could take action" amid concerns that Flynn was subject to blackmail by Russians.

Asked by Contreras how he would plead, Flynn said simply, "Guilty, your honor".

Mueller's charging documents state bluntly that Flynn interfered with the FBI's inquiry into Trump-Russia collusion.

President Obama warns Trump during a meeting at the White House that Flynn is a problem.

Trump ignored reporters' shouted questions as he welcomed the Libyan prime minister to the White House, and aides canceled media access to a later meeting between the two.

The full ramifications of this revelation are not immediately known, but may pertain to the scope of cooperation the Trump administration has had with Mueller's investigation.

Flynn has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including his lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of making false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller's investigation in exchange for leniency.

After Manafort was ousted as Trump's campaign chief in August 2016, Gates continued working on behalf of the soon-to-be president, helping fundraise $25 million for the pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies and working on Trump's inaugural committee.