Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who’s been in the hot seat amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe, will reportedly be charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI, CNN reports. Flynn, who was charged by Mueller, appeared in court on Friday morning and pleaded guilty. He’s reportedly promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that he was directed by Trump “to make contact with the Russians.”
Flynn is expected to testify that Trump directed him to speak to Russian officials during the 2016 election, The Hill reports.
According to CNN, Flynn is the fourth Trump associate to be charged in Mueller’s investigation since Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were also indicted. Both of them pleaded not guilty.
While The White House reportedly declined CNN’s request for comment, a source close to the White House says the news comes as no surprise. “Poor judgment. But this was expected,” the source reportedly told CNN. “Trump fired him for lying to (Vice President Mike Pence). Of course, he lied to the FBI, too.”
According to The New York Times, Flynn was accused of lying to the FBI regarding two discussions he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak. As NYT, notes, lying to the FBI results in up to five years in prison.
Flynn served a total of 24 days as national security adviser before resigning on February 13. During a news conference held two days after Flynn’s resignation, Trump blamed the #FakeNews media for the events that transpired.
“General Flynn is a wonderful man,” Trump said. “I think he has been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it, the fake media in many cases. And I think it is really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.”