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President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged by Special Counsel Robert Muller on Friday with lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn is expected to plead guilty in a Friday court appearance.
As CNN notes, "Flynn is the first Trump administration official and the fourth connected to the campaign to be charged as part of Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes."
The perjury charge comes just a week after Flynn informed Trump's legal team that he would no longer discuss the special counsel's investigation with the White House, a move widely viewed as an indication that Flynn is cooperating with Mueller's probe.
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), argued that the relatively minor charge against Flynn "suggests [he] is cooperating and that cooperation is expected to be important."
Flynn is pleading to a simple information setting out one modest charge. Given that there appears to be evidence that he might be involved in much more extensive wrongdoing, this decision by Mueller suggests Flynn is cooperating & that cooperation is expected to be important.
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) December 1, 2017
CREW's Richard Painter also responded to the charge:
Canary bird will sing. The beginning of the end.
Michael Flynn to plead guilty to lying to FBI https://t.co/roB2nLCCxX
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) December 1, 2017