Now that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pled guilty in a Washington D.C. federal court to making false statements to FBI agents in January 2017, many wonder if his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller signals that the dominoes are beginning to fall toward an indictment of President Donald Trump and his close associates.
What Did Flynn Plead Guilty To?
Flynn pled guilty to an Information charging him with one count making false statements to FBI agents, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1001. An Information is a charging document filed by prosecutors to which a defendant concedes that there is probable cause, as opposed to a federal grand jury finding that it exists.
Specifically, Flynn admitted lying to FBI agents about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about 1) Russian sanctions; and 2) Russia’s role in a pending resolution of the United Nations Security Council.
What Are The Possible Penalties That Flynn Faces?
Federal law allows a maximum penalty of five years in prison for make false statements in conjunction with an official investigation. Stiff fines are also possible.
Will Flynn face any prison time for his crime? Absolutely not. Why? Because he is cooperating with Mueller.
What Does Flynn’s Cooperation Entail?
By pleading guilty and agree to cooperate, Flynn will get the following out of Mueller, so long as he is truthful:
- No prison time;
- Flynn’s family members will likely not be prosecuted by Mueller;
- No additional charges for failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering, or other offenses known to Mueller and his team.
But to get this sweetheart deal, Flynn has to do the following:
- Testify truthfully at any grand jury inquiry or trial concerning any other defendant or target of the investigation;
- Continue to provide truthful information to Mueller;
- Take a polygraph to confirm the truth of his information, if requested.
What Juicy Information Did Flynn Reveal To Mueller?
At least for now, only Mueller knows the extent of Flynn’s revelations. But as an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who has handled both complex white collar and political corruption cases, I am confident that Flynn’s information directly implicates others who are higher up the food chain and closer to Donald Trump. Flynn’s information likely corroborates other information know to the Special Counsel, but more importantly, it provides a live human being to testify to this information in open court. Flynn is now an integral building block in the foundation of the criminal cases that Mueller now has against Trump associates, and, perhaps, Donald Trump himself.
Don’t Let Falling Dominoes Crush You
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