Former National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn could face felony charges if he was inaccurate or dishonest with the FBI concerning his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, which ultimately led to Flynn's resignation.
During the first days of President Donald Trump's administration, the FBI interviewed Flynn, who resigned on Feb. 13 after news broke that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the ambassador before Trump's inauguration but misled some administration officials and the public on the matter, reports The New York Times.
For more than a week after his interview, Flynn falsely told the media that he had not discussed sanctions during the phone conversations.
"It wasn't about sanctions," Flynn told the Daily Caller on Feb. 13 of his talks with the ambassador, adding that he discussed the 35 Russian diplomats fired by the aministration of former President Barack Obama amid accusations that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election. " … It was basically, 'Look, I know this happened. We'll review everything.' I never said anything such as, 'We're going to review sanctions,' or anything like that. … If I did, believe me, the FBI would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled. There were no lines crossed."
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On Jan. 14, Flynn reportedly told Vice President Mike Pence that "the conversations that took place at that time were not in any way related to the new U.S. sanctions against Russia or the expulsion of diplomats," Pence told Fox News the following day, according to the Times.
But a federal court could rule it a felony if Flynn told something similar to bureau members investigating whether he violated the Logan Act, which makes it a crime for unauthorized private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments that have a dispute with the U.S.
It is not known what Flynn told the FBI, whether he had a lawyer present, or whether the rest of the administration knew he was being questioned.