- Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser, reportedly concealed an interview he had with the FBI in January 2017.
- Trump officials didn’t learn about the meeting until former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told them about it.
- Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during that meeting. He was asked to resign in February.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn didn’t tell President Donald Trump about his meeting with the FBI, even while he was still working at the White House, NBC News reported Wednesday.
On January 24, 2017, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe reportedly called Flynn’s office to schedule an interview with Flynn, without telling him why.
“No one knew that any of this was happening,” a White House official told NBC.
Later that day, two FBI investigators interviewed Flynn in his private office in the West Wing about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US. Flynn reportedly answered questions without a lawyer, and after the meeting, he concealed the interview from Trump.
Two days later, according to NBC, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told the White House about the meeting.
Trump administration officials asked Flynn to resign on February 13 after they learned that he misled them about his correspondence with Kislyak. Flynn apologised at the time, saying he may have discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions with Kislyak before Trump was sworn in, which would have been a breach of protocol. Flynn had previously contended that US sanctions never came up during his conversations with Kislyak.
Last month, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during that meeting.
“It has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts,” Flynn said in a statement after announcing his guilty plea. But he said that he would fully cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and that he accepts “full responsibility” for his actions.
Flynn is the latest official to be charged in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia to swing the 2016 election. In October, Mueller’s team indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates on 12 counts, including money laundering and conspiracy against the US. Both Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty.
This week, ABC News reported that Gates had hired white-collar defence lawyer Thomas Green, known for successfully negotiating plea deals for his clients. Earlier this month, Manafort filed a civil lawsuit against Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the US Department of Justice for overstepping the scope of their authority.
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