Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his communications with Russia.
A two-page charging document filed Thursday lists two false statements Flynn made about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December 2016.
It says Flynn falsely claimed that he had not asked Kislyak on Dec. 29 “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the U.S. had imposed against Russia,” and that he didn’t recall Kislyak telling him Russia had decided to moderate its response as a result of his request. – NBC News reports.
Text of a statement issued by former national security adviser Michael Flynn following his guilty plea to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat, Fox News reports.
“After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of “treason” and other outrageous acts.
“Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. 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 accept full responsibility for my actions.”
NBC News reports.
The charge to which Flynn pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. However, senior federal prosecutors not involved in the case say it is unlikely Flynn will ever spend a day in jail.
The prosecutors said that since Flynn is not being charged with a violent crime, it is likely that government prosecutors would ask for probation and a fine at sentencing. Of course, the federal judge assigned to the case can ultimately impose the maximum sentence and is not bound by the prosecutors’ wishes.