Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the Washington Post reports. The newspaper called Flynn’s admission to the charge in federal court an ominous sign for the White House, as court documents indicate Flynn is cooperating in the ongoing probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
The charge relates to alleged false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his meeting with Kislyak during the transition. Flynn is accused of lying to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to Obama administration sanctions. Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions. The charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison.