Gold is spiking as stocks and the dollar sink after headline reports from ABC that Michael Flynn promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.”
JUST IN: @BrianRoss on @ABC News Special Report: Michael Flynn promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.” https://t.co/aiagnvr8eS pic.twitter.com/r8u2LWAd0O
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2017
Flynn said in court he was acting under instructions from senior Trump transition officials in his dealings with the Russian ambassador, As the WaPo reports, Prosecutor Brandon L. Van Grack said in court that “a very senior member of the transition team directed” Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador at one point. At another, Flynn “called a senior official of the Trump team at Mar-a-Lago” to discuss a United Nations resolution that Flynn talked about with Kislyak.
Reuters adds some color on what is occurring in the court:
- FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN SPOKE WITH SENIOR MEMBERS OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM ABOUT HIS CONVERSATIONS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR REGARDING U.S. SANCTIONS
- PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN SPOKE WITH A ‘SENIOR OFFICIAL’ OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM WHO WAS AT MAR-A-LAGO RESORT IN DEC 2016 TO DISCUSS WHAT TO COMMUNICATE TO RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR
- PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN WAS DIRECTED BY ‘A VERY SENIOR MEMBER’ OF TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM TO POLL COUNTRIES AHEAD OF UN VOTE IN DEC 2016
- PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN WAS TOLD BY THE SENIOR MEMBER OF TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM TO REACH OUT TO OTHER COUNTRIES TO INFLUENCE THE UN VOTE TO DELAY OR DEFEAT THE RESOLUTION
Flynn admitted making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed on Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador “subsequently telling him that Russia has chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request,” according to a court filing. That would suggest there was a second, previously unknown contact between Flynn and Kislyak.
In a statement, Flynn said “it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts. 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.”
Full statement below:
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.
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.
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.
Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions. “Guilty, your honor,” Flynn, dressed in a dark blue suit and blue striped tie, told U.S. District Judge Rudolph “Rudy” Contreras.
Flynn then left the courthouse:
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2017
In a statement, White House lawyer Ty Cobb responded to the accusations that “the false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year. Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.”
Trump’s lawyers have expected Flynn to plead guilty, particularly after one of Flynn’s lawyers, Robert Kelner, said he could no longer communicate about the probe with Trump’s lawyers.
As part of Flynn’s negotiations, his son, Michael G. Flynn, is not expected to be charged, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, the Wapo adds.
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