WASHINGTON, DC: President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn said on Tuesday he knew lying to the FBI was a crime as he stood by his guilty plea in a case stemming from the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with Sergei Kislyak, Russia ambassador in Washington at the time.
In a filing with the court, a lawyer for Flynn had noted that he was not warned during an FBI interview that lying would be a crime, but an attorney for Flynn told the court on Friday during a sentencing hearing that the retired lieutenant general was not entrapped.
Interfering with Obama policies
The charges allege that Flynn falsely denied to investigators that last in December 2016, just as the Obama administration was announcing new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats over Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, Flynn privately asked Kislyak to refrain from escalating the situation by retaliating.
Flynn also allegedly lied to investigators about Kislyak’s subsequent answer that Russia would moderate its response, according to the charge document.
Flynn, who once headed the Defense Intelligence Agency, is also accused of lying about secretly asking Kislyak in late December to defeat or delay a vote on a pending UN Security Council resolution, according to the charges.
The specific resolution was not detailed, but the discussion was held one day before the Security Council voted to condemn Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory. The Obama administration, in a rare step that shocked its Middle East ally, had abstained on the motion rather than veto it as had been done in the past.
Trump himself days earlier had sought to block the motion, personally asking Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to put it on hold.