The former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is being charged by the special counsel Robert Mueller with “wilfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
Mueller’s office announced Friday morning that a plea hearing for Flynn had been scheduled for later in the day at a federal courthouse in Washington. Flynn is schedled to appear before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Michael Flynn is the first Trump administration official and the fourth connected to the campaign to be charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted last month; they pleaded not guilty. And Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for making a false statement to the FBI over contacts with officials connected to the Russian government.
The charge against Flynn is the first in Mueller’s probe that has reached someone in the Trump White House and is the latest sign that the special counsel’s investigation is intensifying.
Mueller has been investigating if members of Trump’s team helped Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential race.