Former National Security Adviser Ret. Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn defended his decision to make a plea deal with the Special Counsel and to testify as a witness against President Trump and members of his family.
“After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, 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 after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
“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. 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. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
Flynn was under serious financial strain, and his family members had urged him to start a legal defense fund earlier this year. Flynn’s son was also interviewed by the special counsel team, raising speculation that he was also being investigated.
Flynn reportedly also made the decision because he felt that he had been “abandoned” by Trump. Flynn will reportedly testify that during the campaign, President Trump had instructed him to reach out to Russia.
Flynn’s charge of lying to the FBI stems from his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak on December 29, 2016. Flynn told the FBI he did not discuss sanctions imposed that day by the Obama administration.
He also told Vice President Mike Pence that he did not discuss sanctions, which Pence repeated in an interview. Flynn was fired after someone leaked the classified contents of his phone call to the Washington Post in February, revealing that he had lied to Pence.
Flynn was also under scrutiny for his lobbying work for Turkey in the lead up to the election. He reportedly hatched a plan to kidnap a Islamic cleric in Pennsylvania seeking asylum from Turkey.