President Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. As part of the plea deal, Flynn has officially agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, which is lawyerspeak for the fact that HE'S GONNA SPILL THE TEA!!!!
This is the hardest of news—fancy legal drama of the highest order—so allow me to explain what's going on via GIFs from RuPaul's Drag Race.
Here's what Flynn lied about.
According to the court docs, after Obama announced sanctions against Russia for interfering with the damn election, Flynn called up the Trump transition and asked "what, if anything, to communicate to the the Russian ambassador."
After discussing the situation with an unnamed senior Trump transition official, Flynn called up the Russian ambassador and "requested that Russia not escalate the situation" with regards to retaliating against Obama's sanctions. The implication is that the Trump administration would rescind the Obama's penalties.
The senior Trump transition official that Flynn spoke to before communicating this to Russia? It’s reported to be none other than Jared Kushner.
The court docs then say that there were conversations with MULTIPLE members of the transition team and Michael Flynn. PLURAL.
Now the drama in the court right now isn't that Flynn did these things, it's that he lied about it to the FBI.
On January 24th, soon after the inauguration and while he was serving as National Security Advisor, Flynn falsely told the FBI that he did not ask the Russian ambassador not to retaliate.
After the call, the Russians didn't make a move. And after the Russians didn't make a move, Trump tweeted....this.
Flynn also lied to the FBI about calls he made to Russia and other countries regarding a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.
He also lied on multiple documents with the Department of Justice about his contacts with foreign governments.
ABC reported that as part of his guilty plea, Flynn is prepared to share all he knows about Trump's actions with regards to the Russians, which reportedly include directing his staff to make contact.
Flynn was facing heavier charges than making false statements, and the fact that he was charged with such a relatively minor crime suggests that he made a hella good deal with prosecutors so they'll go easy on him.
And unlike the previously indicted Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, Flynn's participation extends to activity once the gang moved into the White House.
As Duke University law professor Lisa Kern Griffin told Vox, "To receive a cooperation deal of this sort, he needs to be providing information about higher-value targets than himself. We can only speculate about who those targets are, but news reports indicate that Flynn’s testimony could implicate other members of the administration, including the president, in some coordination with the Russian government during the campaign."
Is this the beginning of the end? The end of the beginning? Stay tuned.