UPDATE #4: This is going to be an uncomfortable Holiday season for the Trump family. From CNN:
Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of President Donald Trump’s transition team who directed incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The court filings from Flynn’s plea hearing Friday say a “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team asked Flynn to contact officials from UN Security Council countries, including Russia, to learn where each country stood on the vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.
An attorney for Kushner did not respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE #3: Former FBI Director James Comey goes Biblical, literally, on social media today:
“But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” Amos 5:24 https://t.co/o89PSY1YBd
— James Comey (@Comey) December 1, 2017
UPDATE #2: Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) reacts to the news:
As a retired military officer, I am deeply disappointed that someone of Gen. Flynn’s stature would compromise his honor and integrity by lying to the FBI.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) December 1, 2017
We’re not sure what “as a retired military officer” has to do with anything, but Coffman never misses an opportunity to talk about his service. Not mentioned in this statement, or course, is the fact that Coffman called for an investigation into the FBI back in February:
You know, I think it should be looked into. And here’s one thing. Did the FBI go through the procedures in place in current law to be able to be able to tap into that phone conversation. Are there other violations of law.
We’re guessing that Coffman no longer wants to talk about investigating the FBI over how it learned of Flynn’s deception in the first place.
UPDATE: As this earlier story from the New York Times would indicate, the Trump Presidency is crumbling:
President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides. Mr. Trump’s requests were a highly unusual intervention from a president into a legislative inquiry involving his family and close aides.
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the intelligence committee chairman, said in an interview this week that Mr. Trump told him that he was eager to see an investigation that has overshadowed much of the first year of his presidency come to an end…
…In addition, according to lawmakers and aides, Mr. Trump told Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and a member of the intelligence committee, to end the investigation swiftly.
Absolutely YUGE news this morning.
Just now: @BrianRoss on @ABC News Special Report: Flynn promised full cooperation to the Mueller team and is prepared to testify that candidate Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.” https://t.co/E0tA37GOo0 pic.twitter.com/PmNEO7eekt
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) December 1, 2017
Here’s more from the ABC News story:
The general told confidants about his decision to plead guilty in the last 24 hours, according to people close to Flynn, who say the former adviser feels President Trump has abandoned him and has agreed to answer questions about the president or anyone else…
…Flynn had initially resisted cooperating with the investigation, according to people close to the retired general, but he has been facing mounting legal debts and plans to sell his house to help defray costs.
He only recently learned the full scope of the charges he could potentially face. Last week, Trump lawyers received calls from Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner, alerting them that he could no longer participate in information exchanges with other possible Mueller targets, the first public indication that a plea deal was in the works.
We’ll certainly have more on this story as it develops.