Michael Thomas Flynn (born December 1958) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who served in the U.S. Army from 1981 until 2014. In January 2017 he briefly served as National Security Adviser to Donald Trump. In December 2017 he pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, about contacts he had with the Russian government during Trump’s presidential transition.
Flynn was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in military intelligence, in 1981. DFlynn’s military carreer was as follows:
2001-2002 – Assistant chief of staff, G2, XVIII Airborne Corps and the director of intelligence at the Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan.
2002-2004 – Commanded the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade
2004-2007 – Director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command, with service in Afghanistan and Iraq
2007-2008 – Director of intelligence of the United States Central Command
2008-2009 – Director of intelligence of the Joint Staff
2009-2010 – Director of intelligence of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
2011-2012 – Lieutenant General and assigned as assistant director of national intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
2012-2014 – Flynn was appointed by President Barack Obama as the eighteenth director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
After leaving the military in 2014, Flynn established Flynn Intel Group, which has provided intelligence services for businesses and governments. Flynn was paid over $65,000 by companies connected to Russia in 2015. On March 8, 2017, Flynn registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before election day.
Michael Flynn was named as Trump’s National Security Adviser in January 2017, but was forced to resign from his post for inappropriate communication with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
In December 2017 Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to willingly and knowingly make false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in relation to discussions with the Russian Ambassador on or about December 22 and 29, 2016.
- December 2015, Michael Flynn is paid more than $45,000 by state-sponsored Russia oday to address the network’s 10th anniversary gala
- 10th November 2016, Barack Obama warns newly elected President Trump against hiring Michael Flynn as his national security advisor
- 18th November 2016, Michael Flynn is announced as the next US national security advisor
- December 2016, Micheal Flynn, a White House advisor and Jared Kushner meet Russian ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak at Trump tower in New York. He also meets the head of a US-sanctioned, Russia state-owned bank
- 28th December 2016, Micheal Flynn and Russian ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak exchange christmas messages
- 29th December 2016, President Barack Obama announces measures and sanctions against Russia in retaliation to interference in the 2016 presidential election
- 29th December 2016, Michael Flynn spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. During the phone call Flynn and Kislyak discusses the sanctions and possible relief once Trump is inaugurated. This call is monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies.
- 13th January 2017, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer states that the conversation between Flynn and Kislyak had “centred on logistics.”
- 14th January 2017, according to an account given by Mike Pence to Fox News Sunday, Michael Flynn reassured him by saying ““the conversations that took place at that time were not in any way related to the new U.S. sanctions against Russia or the expulsion of diplomats.”
- 15th January 2017, in an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Mike Pence states “General Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries. That’s exactly what the incoming national security adviser should do. But what I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.”
- 23rd January 2017, Sean Spicer in his first news briefing as White House Press Secretary says that he had spoken with Michael Flynn on the previous evening and reported the following “So there’s been one call. I talked to General Flynn about this again last night. One call, talked about four subjects. One was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir, two was Christmas and holiday greetings, three was to – to talk about a conference in Syria on ISIS and four was to set up a – to talk about after the inauguration setting up a call between President Putin and President Trump.”
- 26th January 2017, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs White House counsel Don McGahn that sanctions had been discussed during the calls between Flynn and Kislyak, based on monitoring by intelligence agencies
- 10th February 2017, Donald Trump when asked about news reports about Michael Flynn states “I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.”
- 13th February 2017, Michael Flynn is forced to resign due to break-down in trust of the president and vice president. In his letter Flynn states “I inadvertently briefed the vice-president elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador”
Flynn consulting Firm Paid $530,000 as reported in his FARA form submitted on 17/03/07
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires that a person acting as “an agent of a foreign principal,” file a disclosure of that relationship with the US Department of Justice.
On March 7, 2017, after being fired as National Security Adviser, Flynn filed a FARA disclosure that revealed that, through his firm, Flynn Intel Group, he had worked in 2016 on behalf of Inovo BV, a firm based in The Netherlands and owned by a Turkish businessman with links to the Turkish government. Flynn Group Intel was paid $530,000 by Inovo – Flynn FARA Disclosure 2017 and below:
It has been widely reported that at a meeting in the Oval Office in February, Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn shortly after he resigned. The reporting is based on a memo written by Comey shortly after the meeting – this memo has been seen by two people who have read the memo.
According to this memo Trump said “I hope you can let this go.”
On May 17, the Senate Intelligence Committee invited Comey to testify in both open and closed-door hearings, offering him the opportunity to address t.he recent reporting
The committee has also requested that Andrew McCabe, the acting F.B.I. director, hand over any related documents prepared by Comey about his communications with senior officials from the White House and Justice Department regarding the Russia investigation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee issued its own request for information on communications between Comey and various administration officials, including Trump.
The committee also asked the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, for “all audio recordings, transcripts, notes, summaries, or memoranda” related to Comey – This would cover any recordings inexplicitly referred to by Trump in his tweet of May 12 2017
This is potentially the largest indication to date that Trump attempted to influence the FBI’s investigation into links between Trump’s team and the Russians in the run up to the 2016 Presidential election.
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to willingly and knowingly make false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in relation to discussions with the Russian Ambassador on or about December 22 and 29 2016.
Flynn’s discussions with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador, were part of a coordinated effort by Trump’s aides to create foreign policy before they were in power, documents released as part of Flynn’s plea agreement show.
Item 3.c. of the Statement of the Offense states:
‘On or about December 29, 2016, Flynn called a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team (“PTT Official”), who was with other senior members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the U.S. sanctions. On that call, Flynn and the PTT official discussed the U.S. sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration’s foreign policy goals. The PTT official and Flynn also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.’
Item 3.d. of the Statement of the Offense states:
‘Immediately after his phone call with the PTT official, Flynn called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. sanctions in a reciprocal manner.’
Item 3.g. of the Statement of the Offense states:
‘On or about December 31, 2016, the Russian Ambassador called Flynn and informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to Flynn’s request
Item 4.b. of the Statement of the Offense states:
‘On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed Flynn to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution’
The documents do not disclose what Trump knew about Mr. Flynn’s discussions. But in item 4.b. of the Statement of Offense it reads that Flynn was directed by a “very senior member” of the presidential transition team to discuss a United Nations resolution.
The transition team was led by Vice President Mike Pence. Its top members included Jared Kushner; Reince Priebus, and K.T. McFarland, who was Mr. Flynn’s deputy and was later appointed to be the ambassador to Singapore. Flynn spoke to Ms. McFarland about another of his conversations with Sergei Kislyak, according to the lawyer.
Details of the counts are as follows:
The admission of guilt by Flynn has the potential to reshape the public’s understanding of what the president’s associates said and did in the days after Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 US Presidential election.
Flynn’s plea deal could deeply undercut the claims made in January by Trump and his aides that they were misled by Mr. Flynn about his discussion with Russians regarding sanctions imposed on Moscow by the Obama administration over the election interference.
James Comey, the former Director of the FBI, has previously testified in fornt of congress that Trump had asked him “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
In May, Trump fired Comey and said the Russia investigation was on his mind at the time. Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s firings of Comey or Flynn amount to obstruction of justice.
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn,” Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer said in response to Flynn’s deal.
To date Trump’s former campaign chairman, two campaign aides and his former National Security Advisor have now all been charged.
In a statement, Mr. Flynn, added “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.”
Trump’s response to Flynn deal
On Saturday, December 2, 2017 trump tweeted “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Lying to the FBI is a crime, and one which Flynn has now pleaded guilty to.
It’s unclear why Trump would add that lying to the FBI was one of his reasons for firing Flynn. Doing so suggests the president knew at the time that Flynn had done something that is against the law, this raises the possibility that Mueller’s investigation has legs.
On Sunday December, 3, 2017 Trump tweeted “I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”
The full and complete plea deal offered to Flynn is as follows: