Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn resigned from his position as national security advisor after it was revealed that he lied about having direct contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign.
U.S. intelligence officials believe that Flynn illicitly led the Russian ambassador to “expect a reprieve from sanctions” from the incoming Trump administration. On several occasions during the campaign and transition, Flynn allegedly privately discussed U.S. policy toward Russia, including sanctions, with Kislyak, and he later lied to the public and the FBI about the nature of these discussions. Flynn has denied that he discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Flynn met with Kislyak on an official visit to Moscow in 2013, during which he became the first U.S. officer to enter GRU (Russian military intelligence) headquarters. Flynn traveled to Moscow in December 2015 to attend a gala dinner hosted by Russia’s state-sponsored media giant, RT, where he sat at the same table as Vladimir Putin. He was reportedly paid $45,000 to attend this event. Flynn’s son is also reportedly under investigation, with a focus on the lobbying work he completed for his father’s lobbying firm Flynn Intel Group. On November 5, 2017, multiple sources reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team believe they have sufficient evidence to bring charges against both Flynn and his son as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between members of the trump campaign and Russian government officials. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. On May 7, 2020, the DOJ dropped the criminal case against Flynn. (Photo credit: Win McNamee / Getty Images)