Disgraced former national security adviser is set to testify that President Donald Trump ordered him to contact Russian officials before he took office, ABC News reports.
“He has promised full cooperation to the Mueller team, he is prepared to testify against President Trump, against Trump family, and against other members of the White House,” ABC News’ Brian Ross reported Friday. “He is prepared to testify that Donald Trump as a candidate ordered him to make contact with the Russians.”
Flynn made the cooperation agreement as he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI at least four times about his communications with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office. Flynn discussed undercutting the sanctions that President Obama had imposed on Russia in response to their election meddling campaign. He also urged Kislyak to kill or stall a United Nations vote condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
According to ABC News, Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump ordered him to make contact with the Russians, “initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria.”
The move comes after sources close to Flynn said the retired general “felt abandoned” by Trump in recent weeks.
Flynn reportedly told friends that he made the decision to plead guilty within the last 24 hours after he “grew increasingly concerned about crippling legal costs he would face if he continued to contest the charges.”
“It has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts,” Flynn said in a statement Friday. “Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.”
Richard Frankel, a former top aide to Flynn, told ABC News that Flynn could pose a problem for Trump because he knows where the “bodies are buried.”
“I don’t know how much General Flynn knows about any criminal activity that took place during the campaign or in the White House,” Frankel, who also previously worked for the FBI, told ABC News. “However, General Flynn was a top adviser to President Trump in the campaign and a top adviser to him when he entered into the WH so if there are bodies buried so to speak, General Flynn would know about them in my opinion.”
Flynn had long resisted cooperating with Bob Mueller’s team but his legal costs have continued to add up and he was forced to prepare to sell his home to cover the legal fees. He also “only recently learned the full scope of the charges he could potentially face,” ABC News reports.
“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 his statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Flynn’s plea could very well bring down Trump, who personally urged then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation into Flynn.
In March, when Flynn was seeking immunity in multiple Congressional probes, his attorney declared, “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”