What was Trump so afraid of? Flynn may finally tell us

Jared Kusher

Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, goes to the White House and warns White House counsel Donald McGahn that Flynn has misled administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak and is potentially subject to Russian blackmail.

The government did not reveal the identity of the senior transition official.

Mueller's team announced charges in October against three other Trump campaign officials, former chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, and a former campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

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.

Flynn is now accused of "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the feds.

Flynn will say that Trump "directed him to make contact with the Russians", flatly contradicting Trump's claim that he had nothing to do with Russia before or after his surprise election. Mueller's prosecutors indicated they were senior and within Trump's inner circle.

The Obama administration imposes sanctions on Russian Federation in retaliation for Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer and other efforts to interfere with the US election.

At the time, Flynn was a campaign and transition advisor with no official U.S. government role, but it was known that he would likely become Trump's White House national security advisor.

The charging document makes reference to two separate conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and to separate false statements prosecutors say he made regarding that communication. Administration officials said Flynn had not discussed sanctions that had been imposed on Russian Federation in part over election meddling.

The Obama administration abstained, while the rest of the 15-nation council, including Russian Federation, voted unanimously against Israel.

A White House lawyer said that nothing in Flynn's guilty plea "implicates anyone other than Mr Flynn". On December 22, Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before the scheduled vote.

At President Barack Obama's direction, the United States abstained from voting on the resolution, a rare move that allowed the UN Security Council to unanimously condemn Israeli's settlement activity. Trump personally called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to press the case against the condemnation, and Egypt surprisingly postponed the scheduled showdown on December 22 - the same day Flynn met Kislyak.

"The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year", he continued.

This past Valentine's Day, President Trump asked then FBI Director James Comey to stick around following a meeting with a group of national security officials in the Oval Office.

Warner said any individual deserves "the benefit of the doubt", but that the investigations, including by his committee, must go on.

Given how much interest Trump had taken in Flynn's case earlier in 2017, people are waiting for his say on it.



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