Tags: Donald Trump | Michael Flynn resignation | Russia | sanctions | FBI | investigation | interview

WashPost: Flynn Denied Talk of Russian Sanctions in FBI Interview

Image: WashPost: Flynn Denied Talk of Russian Sanctions in FBI Interview

Gen. Michael Flynn (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 06:20 PM

Retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents last month he had discussed the Obama administration's sanctions against Russia with the country's ambassador before President Donald Trump took office — contrary to communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies, according to news reports.

Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser Monday, talked with the FBI on Jan. 24 — current and former U.S. officials told The Washington Post — and he had denied discussing the sanctions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December.

He could face felony charges of lying to the FBI, though any decision to prosecute would be made by the Justice Department, the Post reported.

But late Thursday night, CNN reported that the FBI had no plans to file any charges against Flynn.

Flynn also could possibly be charged with violating the Logan Act, an obscure 1799 law that bars private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes.

A Flynn spokesman told the Post he had no response — and the FBI declined to comment.

Flynn had said he did not discuss sanctions, but he told The Daily Caller before he resigned Monday he talked with Kislyak about the 35 diplomats expelled by President Barack Obama in response to Moscow's election-related hacking.

The Obama administration had announced the sanctions and expulsions Dec. 29. The Post reported last week Flynn and Kislyak had talked that day.

"It was basically: 'Look, I know this happened. We'll review everything,'" Flynn told The Daily Caller about the conversation.

"I never said anything such as, 'We're going to review sanctions,' or anything like that."

Flynn also told The Daily Caller "there were no lines crossed" in the conversation.

President Trump sought Flynn's resignation following a Post report he had misled Vice President Mike Pence by denying the contents of the December call and after Justice Department officials warned Flynn could be compromised by Moscow as a result.

Pence told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Jan. 15 that Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian diplomat.

At a White House news conference Thursday, Trump called Gen. Flynn a "fine person" and said he had done nothing wrong in talking with the ambassador.

"I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence," Trump told reporters.

"When I looked at the information I said I don't think he did anything wrong," he added. "If anything, he did something right."

Trump added he did not direct Flynn to speak with the Russian official.

"I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him because that's his job," Trump said. "I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him if he didn't do it."

Officials who have reviewed the phone call have told the Post they believed Flynn's statements to Kislyak were inappropriate — possibly illegal — because he suggested Moscow could expect a reprieve from the sanctions.

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Retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents last month he had discussed the Obama administration's sanctions against Russia with the country's ambassador before President Donald Trump took office, according to news reports.
sanctions, FBI, investigation, interview
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2017-20-16
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 06:20 PM
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