Joy Johnston, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been charged by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III with making false statements to federal investigators. He pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Washington Friday.
Here's what we know about the Michael Flynn investigation:
1.) What has Flynn been charged with? Flynn has been charged with one count of lying to the FBI. The count encompasses two separate instances of lying to FBI investigators.Read the court charging document.
2.) What incidents prompted the charge? Two separate conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, and Flynn's misrepresentation of those conversations to the FBI in January prompted the charge, according to the documents filed by the special counsel. The December conversations involved Russian sanctions and a vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution, according to the special counsel's court filing.
3.) Is the Flynn charge a surprise? The charge is not a surprise to many legal experts. Flynn has been under investigation for months. Just this past week, Flynn's legal team told Trump's legal team they could no longer share information. This move seemed to indicate that charges, and/or a plea deal, was in the works.
4.) What happens next? Flynn has pleaded guilty Friday to one charge of lying to the FBI, the New York Times reported. It is not known at this time what punishment may be levied, or if there is a cooperation agreement in the works.
Flynn released a statement about the charge, acknowledging that his actions outlined in court documents were wrong, and that he accepts full responsibility for his actions.
It also is not known at this time if Flynn's son, Michael Flynn, Jr., will face any charges. Flynn and his son worked closely together. The Washington Post is reporting that Flynn Jr. is not expected to be charged, as part of the Flynn plea agreement.
5.) What is the White House's response? Trump's legal team issued a formal response to the Flynn charge and guilty plea.
WH lawyer Ty Cobb on Flynn: "Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn."