Donald Trump’s lawyer says Michael Flynn’s guilty plea “clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion” to the Russia probe led by Congress and special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Ty Cobb said in a statement that Mr Flynn’s false statements to the FBI about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak “mirror the false statements made to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February.”
“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr Flynn,” Mr Cobb said.
He noted that the “conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way” for the investigation to conclude.
The retired three-star Army Lieutenant General had also misled Vice President Mike Pence, then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer about conversations he had with Mr Kislyak.
The three repeated his false claims to the public on more than one occasion.
In an interview with CBS on 15 January, Mr Pence said Mr Flynn told him the conversation was about “Christmas wishes” and and “sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place” the month before.
According to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ May testimony in front of the Senate, she had rushed to speak to White House lead counsel Don McGahn on 26 January about how Mr Flynn was susceptible to blackmail by Russia because Moscow knew he had been lying about his contact with Mr Kislyak.
It took 18 days for Mr Trump to ask Mr Flynn for his resignation on 13 February and he implied in later comments that he felt media pressure to do so.
Mr Flynn’s legal team had cut off communications with Mr Trump’s lawyers last week, which could mean he is cooperating with Mr Mueller and offered some information in the investigation.
Experts have said he may have offered crucial links between Russian officials and a senior campaign team official given the relatively lenient charge.
It remains unclear whether Mr Flynn will face actual jail time
There have been no announcements regarding ending the investigation from either Congress or Mr Mueller.