Flynn’s likely to spin loose

New York Daily News - - PRESIDENT TRUMP FIRST 100 DAYS - BY DE­NIS SLAT­TERY

FOR­MER NA­TIONAL Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Michael Flynn may skate on some se­ri­ous le­gal trou­ble.

Flynn (photo) mis­led the FBI about dis­cussing sanc­tions with a Rus­sian di­plo­mat ahead of Pres­i­dent Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, ac­cord­ing to new re­ports Thurs­day.

The de­nial could have meant crim­i­nal charges — ly­ing to FBI agents is a felony — but in­ves­ti­ga­tors don’t be­lieve Flynn in­ten­tion­ally lied, ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post and CNN.

Word of Flynn nar­rowly avoid­ing le­gal woes came as the man pegged to re­place him turned down the po­si­tion.

A se­nior White House of­fi­cial said that re­tired Navy spe­cial forces of­fi­cer Robert Har­ward de­clined the Pres­i­dent’s of­fer due to fi­nan­cial and fam­ily

Oth­ers said Har­ward had no in­ter­est in the job due to the chaotic cli­mate at the White House.

A friend said the 60-year-old for­mer Navy SEAL called the of­fer a “s--- sand­wich,” ac­cord­ing to CNN.

Har­ward was a lit­tle more diplo­matic when telling The Associated Press that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion was “very ac­com­mo­dat­ing to my needs, both pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally.”

“It’s purely a per­sonal is­sue,” he said. “I’m in a unique po­si­tion fi­nally af­ter be­ing in the mil­i­tary for 40 years to en­joy some per­sonal time.”

Of­fi­cials said ear­lier this week that Act­ing Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Keith Kel­logg and re­tired Gen. David Pe­traeus were both con­sid­ered con­tenders for the po­si­tion.

Pe­traeus, a re­tired four-star gen­eral, re­signed as CIA di­rec­tor in 2012 and pleaded guilty to one mis­de­meanor charge of com­mit­ments. mis­han­dling clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion af­ter giv­ing clas­si­fied doc­u­ments to his bi­og­ra­pher, with whom he was hav­ing an af­fair.

He was also fined $100,000 and re­mains on pro­ba­tion.

On Thurs­day, Trump con­tin­ued to de­fend Flynn, call­ing him a “fine per­son” and blam­ing the me­dia for the for­mer Army gen­eral’s fall.

Flynn for weeks pub­licly de­nied that his con­ver­sa­tion with Rus­sian Am­bas­sador Sergey Kislyak in­volved U.S. sanc­tions against Rus­sia put in place by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The De­cem­ber call was mon­i­tored by the FBI, as is com­mon prac­tice re­gard­ing for­eign diplo­mats, and the act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral warned Trump’s team that they were re­peat­ing a false­hood and Flynn could be black­mailed by the Rus­sians.

Press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer and Vice Pres­i­dent Pence both pub­licly de­nied that Flynn had men­tioned sanc­tions dur­ing the call.

The Pres­i­dent asked for Flynn’s res­ig­na­tion Mon­day fol­low­ing an­other Wash­ing­ton Post re­port that re­vealed Flynn mis­led Pence about the sub­stance of the call.

The FBI in­ter­viewed the se­cu­rity chief on Jan. 24, just days af­ter Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, to ask him about the con­tents of his call with Kislyak.

The ker­fuf­fle around Flynn’s res­ig­na­tion comes af­ter a damn­ing re­port that the FBI also found sev­eral top Trump cam­paign mem­bers were in con­tact with Rus­sia through­out the cam­paign.

Trump’s newly ap­pointed At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions has brushed off calls that he re­cuse him­self from any in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing con­tact be­tween Trump’s close aides and Rus­sian operatives.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.