Monday 19 August 2019

Russia probe closing in on former top member of Trump staff

Michael Flynn speaks at the White House. Photo: Reuters
Michael Flynn speaks at the White House. Photo: Reuters

Howard Schneider

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, it has been reported.

The special counsel, who is leading the probe into possible collusion between Mr Trump's team and Russia during last year's presidential election campaign, is said to have uncovered evidence that Mr Flynn acted improperly in relation to his work lobbying for foreign governments.

Mr Flynn resigned in February, after just 24 days in the role, when it emerged that he had lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about his communications with representatives of the Russian government.

Sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News Mr Mueller was putting pressure on Mr Flynn after the indictment and arrest of Paul Manafort, Mr Trump's former campaign chairman, last month.

Mr Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates have been charged with 12 offences, including money-laundering and conspiracy against the United States.

The alleged evidence against Mr Flynn, a retired army general, suggests that Mr Mueller's probe is getting closer to the inner circle around Mr Trump.

If Mr Flynn is charged, he would be the first person who had held an administration post to face prosecution.

White House officials have stressed that those charged to date were campaign officials who were not subsequently brought into government by Mr Trump.

Irish Independent

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