Mueller finds another process crime: Michael Flynn pleads to making false statement (Updated w Plea Docs)
What is the government getting in return?
As predicted, Robert Mueller’s investigation was more likely to find process crimes, such as making false statements to federal investigators, or crimes unrelated to alleged Russia collusion, than crimes related to actual collusion.
Mueller just charged Michael Flynn with lying to the FBI during a January 2017 interview (which predated Mueller) about conversations with the Russian ambassador in late December 2016, during the transition. Media reports are blurring this timeline, implying it was during the campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
He is due to appear in court later Friday morning, a court spokesperson said. The White House declined to immediately comment.
Flynn is the first Trump administration official and the fourth connected to the campaign to be charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted last month; they pleaded not guilty. And Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for making a false statement to the FBI over contacts with officials connected to the Russian government.
Here is the Criminal Information dated November 30, 2017 (pdf).
USA v. Michael Flynn – Criminal Information 11-30-2017 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd
There is widespread speculation is that because the government let him off “easy” with a single count, that he has helped Mueller in moving up the Trump administration food chain.
Flynn’s statement on his guilty plea:
Flynn statement says explicitly that he is cooperating with Mueller. Wow. Obviously more to come.
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 1, 2017
Here is the statement from the White House lawyer:
"Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn," Trump attorney Ty Cobb says in statement, adding that the false statements Flynn made to FBI "mirror" false statements made to White House https://t.co/ndmzkFV6jg pic.twitter.com/z3uZ3Embf9
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 1, 2017
ABC’s Brian Ross is reporting Flynn is prepared to testify Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians during the campaign.
Bombshell. Flynn ready to testify against Trump & Trump family; will apparently say Trump told him to make contact with the Russians. This could be it. https://t.co/5MJ53HbjHu
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) December 1, 2017
UPDATE ON LINK ABOVE — FAKE NEWS FROM ABC
That's a huge correction https://t.co/EIMaE0EkGu
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) December 1, 2017
Here’s what’s being reported on what happened during the plea hearing:
Prosecutors say Flynn on Dec. 29 called senior Trump transition team at Mar-A-Lago to discuss conversations with Kislyak; multiple conversations with the transition while he was having conversations with Kisyak about Russia sanctions and Russian response
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 1, 2017
Statement of the Offense (pdf.)
USA v. Michael Flynn – Statement of the Offense 11-30-2017 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd
Plea Agreement (pdf.)
USA v. Michael Flynn – Plea Agreement 11-30-2017 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd
[This post updated multiple times.]
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question – what was the lie ?
the denial of speaking to Russian ambassador ?
this was post election, in Feb 2017….
So Mueller squeezes Flynn’s kid, and coerces a plea. A political witch hunt tearing at one of the good guys. Another Scooter Libby. I hope he gets better treatment.
Obama’s FBI is totally un-American and totally corrupt!
That is besides the point 4th!
This is so liberals can cling to the fantasy that Russia interfered with the election! It doesn’t matter that this relates to a meeting in December and is unrelated to the election.
I don’t quite understand why he talked to Mueller and the FBI in the first place. If you talk to the feds, they’ll turn some inconsistency in what you say, however insignificant, into a process crime. Better to keep silent.
Agree. In any witch hunt, shut the hell up.
Don’t we all wonder how many people the FBI employees have molested…………
It is troublesome that these people who seem oblivious to common day-to-day events can occupy high positions in government and military. Where was he when Martha Stewart went to jail? Did he really think he could get away with something? Was it arrogance or stupidity?
You don’t talk to them. Period. Ask for the agent’s card and tell them you will have your lawyer get back to them.
Even then, a good lawyer who tell them that his client won’t say anything unless they get total immunity for anything/everything.
It appears from the story the Flynn was burned by statements given in January before the unmasking was revealed.
Why was Flynn talking with FBI at all?
Who is advising these people?
Granted, Flynn was in the crosshairs before yesterday, but eclipsed by the Steinle travesty was release of additional FBI “tarmac meeting” documents FOIA’d by Judicial Watch –
FBI appears to be a full-on criminal cabal intent on protecting its internal secrecy and unaccountability at the expense of legal and ethical transparency and credibility.
I discern that these evil acts of the Clinton’s boy Mueller – a co-hort of them for decades from my understanding – will destroy this fake FBI.
This is only worrisome to me, who does not believe there was any illegal collusion, if “flipped” means that instead of “lying” TO the FBI, he is now lying FOR the FBI and Mueller.
seems like Flynn has only a passing understanding of the truth.
a suck up who got much to high for his britches.
I have a feeling that if Mueller had anything real he would keep the more serious charges available instead of ending the Flynn case with a plea deal.
I don’t understand why Flynn would lie to the feds about asking the Russians to “not escalate the situation” – isn’t interfacing with foreign diplomats part of the National Security Advisors normal job duties?
Yes – this.
Also, if you’re planning on using your defendants plea in court, you have him plea guilty to conspiracy, so that you can charge the other conspirators.
You don’t charge him with being a liar, not without destroying his credibility in any other legal proceedings. You only do that if that’s all you got.
That is what Andy McCarthy said in NR. You have him plead guilty to the comspiracy to avoid the penalty of the other conspirators. You don’t have him plead guilty to lying and only impeach his own credibility.
This will turn oit like Comey’s testimony only worse because Flynn doesn’t really want to take down Trump and how would he do so without labeling himself a traitor for life? I put money he will be as resistant as Oliver North was with Reagan with much less even to hide.
From what I understand, the prosecutor has the plea-bargain peep A plead guilty to the conspiracy charges *because* they have two major points to make to the jury in the upcoming trials.
1) That the conspiracy existed, and is criminal.
2) That peep B, C and D were involved in it.
If you already have a guilty plea from A, you’re halfway through your list for B, C, and D.
I still don’t see where talking to Russians is a crime. Hillary was talking to Russians and many other governments. The Saudis virtually financed her election.
Hell! Hillary was in bed with the Russians…so to speak…
Yuck. Even Russians don’t deserve that.
LOL Thanks for the chuckle Grannie!
The crime is his lie. Had he just been up front from the beginning none of this today would be happening…well…to him at least.
But…I believe the FBI is lying about “teh Lie.”
What Mueller has done is a very simple and old prosecutor’s trick. They had the transcript of the phone calls between Kelly and Kisalyik thanks to the Obama eavesdropping operation, with the help of the FISA court. Shouldn’t have been leaked to the FBI, but it was.
Then, they call the target in and ask him a bunch of questions, on tape. They ask specific questions because they already know what the answers are supposed to be, the entire thing is just a setup so they can threaten the suspect with charges. They compare the tape of what he told them to the transcript they already had, and if he got something wrong or misled on even the smallest thing, BAM! The Prosecutor has got a slam dunk conviction.
But doesn’t that define what is known (and also known to be illegal) as “entrapment?”
For 1900-2008 – Yes
For 2008+ – No, provided the defendant is Republican.
“The crime is his lie.” I can understand how all the “Mueller/FBI Democrat Henchmen” could construe Anything from Flynn as a “lie” to make headlines, but why did Flynn “lie” to Pence?
In 10 months your boy Trump has had more people arrested and indicted than Obama had during his entire presidency.
Come on professor, bring us some more of your chest puffing talk on how Trump is better than Obama.
I applaud the Kate Steinle verdict.
Uh oh! The trolls have finally found Prof. Jacobson’s site. M1 can go spew his ridiculous vitriol elsewhere!
Looks like just another failing Cornell University student maybe…..
@m1 Please advise if you really do think that the measure of justice and significance is the comparison of Obama tenure vs the Trump tenure. Does it not have anything to do with the offence or the severity or the law? Lying to the FBI ranks where in your estimation? Punishable be death by slander, death by hanging? Or is Flyn guilt, interest and significance on about the level of a speeding ticket? Or a parking ticket?
And then we have President Obama (on hot mike) telling Medvedev that after he wins the election he will be “more flexible” with Putin… not “the US MAY be more flexible” or “I MAY be more flexible”.. but “I WILL be more flexible”…. collusion..no?
Which merely shows how thoroughly corrupt the 0bama administration was.
Uh, m1, that would be because of Obama’s DOJ/FBI – in both cases.
m1oron, have you ever considered that Eric, the Bad, Holder was the AG? Or laughable Lynch? The only people he/she prosecuted were Republicans and big businesses for the fines that he/she then gave to obama’s cronies. My God, think of the crimes that never got looked into. The IRS scandal, the fast & furious scandal, the “Tell Vladimir I’ll be more flexible after the election” scandal, the hillary clinton e-mail national security failure scandal that obama knew about, Benghazi slaughters scandal, Solyndra scam that was owned by a close ally of obama, the illegal change of immigration law by obama, the lying and misinformation from obama’s EPA chiefs. You are right that none of these were prosecuted. Now all you have to do is explain why?
And yet, when the FBI interviewed all of Hillary’s staff about her emails , they either got up-front immunity deals or were interviewed without notes. Nice swamp. When has the FBI EVER charged a Democrat or Dem-Friendly associate with lying to the FBI? I cannot recall one. ( FBI… not lying in court, ie, Bill Clinton )
If he is pleading guilty to lying to the FBI (something Hillary can do with impunity), then he is pleading guilty to a crimen falsi charge. These types of charges deal with honesty and truthfulness, so if he is admitting he is a criminal-level liar, he will not be a credible witness. The logic is – if you were lying then (at a criminal-level), how do I know you aren’t lying now?
There are two levels at play here, so Flynn can be an unbelievable witness for the law while damaging Trump politically.
You know, the same thing the left has been doing to Roy Moore.
I’m so naive. Up until now I thought the FBI were the few remaining White Hats. Boy Scouts with AR15s. I would have gone out of my way to tell him everything I knew.
Sad. When did this change? Or was it always this way?
It is definitely traceable to the Obama admin., but probably was creeping up since Clinton…….
Now this headline from Drudge: “REVEALED: TRUMP HATER ON MUELLER TEAM” This is just One, plus his mistress. We know DC and all the surrounding suburbs are “Deep Blue” districts, so all these Democrat Lawyers are on the Federal t!t drawing big bucks in an attempt to negate the 2016 election.
Has anybody ever been convicted by a jury for lying to the FBI? Since the FBI does not record its interviews, doesn’t the charge of lying amount to nothing more than he said/she said with the FBI always having more witnesses than the accused?
Prosecutor discretion is the single largest impediment to justice in America today.
Um, yes, all the time. Have you never heard of Scooter Libby?
The Scooter Libby trial was another miscarriage of justice, similar to the Martha Stewart fiasco.
Extortion is a sick crime, especially when practiced by the government.
Lib media was Scooter Libby all day everyday, minus a 2 minute break to cover Cindy Shehann.
These are called “Process” crimes and they involve what you told the FBI the first time you spoke to them and what you told them after that. It is nothing but a “Gotcha” trick that they use to soften people up for the big hit or turn towards another player.
Unfortunately, no one with the FBI has been convicted for all the times its personnel have lied to juries.
Somehow, Trump’s people are woefully unaware that the FBI admits that its so-called experts lied under oath about testimony on various matters like hair and fibers.
It is unbelievable that there has been so little consequence for being systematically corrupt. And federal judges are complicit, because they let all kinds of federal troughfeeders testify as experts even though they have never worked in the industry or field in issue, while keeping out a lot of experts under the Daubert test that are presented by private litigants.
Well sure, especially if you can get a “scooter Libby” jury where the foreman admitted “we wanted Cheney but Libby was all that was available.”
Ohhhh…liberals creaming themselves over Flynn going to testify Trump directed him to open talks with the Russkies.
Just a pity that ain’t illegal, even for Republicans hahahahaha
Has this even changed when it was pointed out it isn’t illagal to talk to the Russians about anything back when this started?
Oh boy, Santa’s here, and the Libs and Never Trumpers are giddy with anticipation.
But, alas, it looks like they’re only getting a lump of coal. Even worse, it’s the exact same lump of coal they got last time.
Remember when Turbo Tim didn’t get to be Treasury Secretary and had to go to jail for cheating on his taxes?
oh wait. never mind.
So, Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. Okay, then, what sort of potential witness came he be concerning other matters, unless there is collaborating evidence? Or, to ask in another way, how much weight can his word alone carry as he could be accused to be lying to save himself from stiffer penalties?
I’m oversimplifying…but it seems like….
Obama deliberately provoked the Russians (in what looked like a tantrum over the election all the way back then);
Flynn asked the Russians to chill and wait things out;
Putin chilled and didn’t take the bait which made Obama look bad
So, Flynn who was already on Obama’s hate list because he refused to adjust his position on ISIS gets put under FISA surveillance and taken out by Meuller for calming things down and preventing a conflict with the Russians.
In the meantime, Hillary completely destabilized Libya to settle an old Clinton grudge with Khadafi (yes, bad guy, but there was a grudge there none the less and Libya was more or less stable)
what bothers me right now is:
1) we are in the midst of dealing with unstable NORKS firing YUGE missiles capable of lobbing Nukes at aur allies (and us).
2) Iran/ISIS instigating unrest in MENA and Europe.
3) for the first time in about 20 years or more we have a possibility to have lower taxes and higher employment.
there are all the morality issues in the public square and we need a strong POTUS leading our country and we have the Lilliputians trying to tie Gulliver in knots – this will not end well if Trump is impeached and Muller tries to put Pence also in the hoosegow.
If you are in the 4th armored, then you should know that we are moving assets and getting ready for the big one. Just need a precipitating cause.
My take on this is that Gen. Flynn is not going to finger Trump but will make some other claim about something else. Mueller will accept that and call it quits. Flynn is an honorable man and is not going to turn into a traitor to save his own skin. Bank on it!
Put Hillary in jail and all this stops. Start prosecuting all Obama people and you get the government back. Do nothing and this just keeps on.