Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the fourth person charged in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his conversations during the Trump transition with Russia's ambassador to the United States, reports the AP. (You can read the charge against him here.) One prosecutor said Flynn contacted the ambassador at the direction of "a very senior member of the transition team," reports the Washington Post. With the plea, Flynn confirmed suspicions that he is now cooperating with Mueller. “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country," Flynn said in a statement. "I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
The guilty plea makes the retired Army lieutenant general the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation, which is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Flynn, who was interviewed by the FBI just days after Trump's inauguration, was forced to resign in February after White House officials said he had misled them about whether he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Mueller's team announced charges last month against three other Trump campaign officials, former chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, and a former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.