December 1, 2017

Whitehouse Statement on Flynn Guilty Plea, Cooperation

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, released the following statement on former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about his contacts with a top Russian official, as well as Flynn’s cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

“As we learned at our subcommittee hearing in May, General Flynn made a false statement to the FBI about his contacts with a top Russian official.  The White House Counsel knew that and waited 18 days before removing Flynn from his position.  A false statement, made in the White House, by the National Security Advisor, about a call with a foreign adversary, looks like a prison case to me.  And as Sally Yates’s testimony made clear in our hearing, Mr. Flynn’s behavior constituted a serious risk to national security and a betrayal of the public trust.  Three-star generals don’t want to go to prison, so his cooperation is no surprise. 

“With this guilty plea and cooperation, Mr. Mueller can pursue the whole truth of the Trump campaign’s involvement in Russia’s meddling in our election, and any obstruction of justice.  Flynn’s testimony has the potential to shed light on some of the most pressing questions about the behavior of the President, his top advisers, and his campaign.  Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed without interference from the President or his administration.”

In May, at a Senate Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates raised serious concerns with the Trump administration’s handling of information on contacts between a top Russian official and Flynn.  Yates revealed that she warned the White House that Flynn’s continued dishonesty about his inappropriate contacts with the Russian government posed a national security risk—a warning that Trump failed to act upon for 18 days while Flynn took part in highly sensitive matters, and that administration officials have repeatedly mischaracterized since Flynn’s resignation.


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