MIAMI (CBSMiami) — As part of a plea deal, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has admitted that a senior member of the Trump transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the first official who worked in the Trump White House to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
What does it all mean?
Former U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis, who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, appeared on CBS4 News on Friday evening to help make sense of the latest developments including his opinion on what the plea deal means for the President of the United States.
“If I’m President Trump, I’m meeting with my lawyers today,” replied Lewis. “I call the secretary, I say ‘clear the calendar’ and I have the lawyers come in because it’s big. This is big, big, big. He was a direct report to the President, the National Security Advisor; he is extremely close to the President of the United States,” said Lewis to CBS4’s Rick Folbaum and Lauren Pastrana.
What exactly does it mean that Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI?
“It means he got the very least that the government could give under the circumstances,” said Lewis. “You better believe that single count, zero to five years, and I’m telling you based on everything I know, he won’t go to jail for this offense. He won’t do a day in jail for this offense and what did it cost him? It cost him cooperation. He’s been debriefed, he has implicated other people and I’m telling you, you don’t give a single count of no jail time without there being something in return from the defendant/cooperator.”
Lewis has worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the past and knowing how he operates, feels things will start to move very quickly with more indictments and charges.
“He was tenacious, yes. Bob was a Marine and Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the criminal division. That guy knows how to build a case and that is what he is doing. He is building a case and climbing the ladder and he has got somebody above Flynn in his scope.”
When comparing current events with Watergate, it was President Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell who was indicted, like Mike Flynn, and months after that indictment, President Nixon resigned. Even Lewis says there are many parallels.
“Only the burglars got charged for the break-in and the rest of the charges were all as a result of what– the cover-up, the obstruction. It is the lying to FBI and other agencies, that’s where everybody gets in trouble.”