- Thomson Reuters
- President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn released a statement following the news that he has been charged with making false statements to federal investigators.
- Flynn rejected claims that he had committed treason, but said he accepts “full responsibility for his actions.”
President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn released a statement following the news that he has been charged with making false statements to federal investigators about his conversations last December with Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time, Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing in federal court in Washington, DC on Friday, rejected what he called “false accusations” that he is guilty of treason and other “outrageous acts,” but said that he takes “full responsibility” for the actions he admitted to in court.
“After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts,” Flynn wrote in the Friday morning statement. “Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for.”
“But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right,” he continued. “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee earlier this year that she had warned the White House about Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak so that the Trump administration “could take action” amid concerns that Flynn was subject to blackmail by Russians.
Yates said she had had “two in-person meetings and one phone call” with the White House counsel, Don McGahn, in January about Flynn.
While he was the vice president-elect, Mike Pence insisted in an interview with CBS that Flynn and Kislyak “did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia” – a statement that turned out to be untrue and set off alarm bells at the Justice Department.
Flynn was forced to resign roughly 18 days after Yates first warned McGahn about his conversations with Kislyak.
Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.