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Ex-Trump national security adviser Flynn charged with lying to FBI

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, the Special Counsel's Office charged in a court filing made public yesterday.

The Office of the Special Counsel is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and potential collusion by Mr Trump's campaign.

Flynn, who is expected to plead guilty, is a retired army general who was fired from his White House post in February after revelations he had misled Vice-President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

He is a central figure in the federal investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The charge against him is another escalation in an investigation that has cast a cloud over the Trump administration since the president took office on Jan 20.

In a filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, the office said Flynn made false statements to the FBI on Jan 24.

SANCTIONS

According to the filing, Flynn falsely told FBI officials that in December 2016 he did not ask Russia's ambassador to the United States to refrain from escalating the situation after Washington had imposed sanctions on Moscow.

The sanctions were imposed by outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama.

Flynn, who was a senior adviser to Mr Trump before the Republican president took office, also falsely stated that he did not recall the Russian ambassador telling him that Moscow had chosen to moderate its response to US sanctions as a result of his request, the document alleged.

The filing, dated Nov 30, also said Flynn falsely stated that he did not ask the Russian ambassador earlier in December to delay a vote or defeat a pending UN Security Council resolution, and that the ambassador never described Russia's response to his request. - REUTERS

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