Why Flynn Probably Won't Face Charges for FBI Statements

Bureau thinks he was being truthful about call to Russian ambassador
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2017 12:36 AM CST
Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sits in the front row before a White House press conference on Feb. 10, 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Michael Flynn was no more truthful to the FBI about his talks with Russia's ambassador to the US than he was to Mike Pence and other administration officials, officials tell the Washington Post. The sources say that the then-national security adviser told the FBI during a Jan. 24 interview that he hadn't discussed US sanctions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, though a transcript of an intercepted call in December revealed that he had. Lying to the FBI is a felony, but prosecution will be up to the Justice Department, and officials say Flynn is unlikely to face charges both because he could contest the use of the term "sanctions," and because when pressed by FBI interviewers, he said he couldn't fully remember the conversation.

Sources tell CNN that the FBI believes Flynn provided truthful answers and wasn't intentionally trying to mislead them. They say the FBI is unlikely to pursue any charges against him unless new information surfaces. At a press conference Thursday, President Trump called Flynn a " fine person" who hadn't done anything wrong in his talk with the ambassador, the Post reports. A day earlier, Trump said the real scandal was the "criminal act" of the intelligence services leaking information. (Trump's pick to replace Flynn as national security adviser has turned down the job.)

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