. On Friday, the world woke up to the news that former Trump advisor Michael Flynn had been arrested for giving false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the course of an investigation. On Friday morning, Flynn quickly pleaded guilty to the charges, leading many to wonder which bigger fish the investigation is looking to fry with Flynn's testimony. Namely, will Michael Flynn testify against President Trump? It's looking more and more like a possibility, judging by recent reports.
According to the Associated Press, Flynn admitted on Tuesday — as part of a plea deal — that he was directed to contact Russian officials by a senior member of the Trump transition team last December. The prosecution has yet to reveal which member of the transition team reportedly gave the directive, but ABC News' Brian Ross reported that Flynn was ready to testify against "President Trump, members of the Trump family, and others in the White House."
In response to Flynn's arrest, White House special counsel Ty Cobb issued a statement on Tuesday claiming that "nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn." According to The Independent, he continued:
The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel's work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.
During an appearance at the White House on Friday, Trump did not address the news.
Flynn, however, released his own statement on Friday morning, saying that he was ready to cooperate fully with the investigation. "I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong," he said, according to CNN. "My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions."
In the courtroom this morning, Flynn told the judge that he understood the charges against him and what his guilty plea entailed, according to The Independent. The judge said he would be reviewing the government's case against Flynn and had not yet decided on the sentence Flynn would receive.
Later on Friday, the Justice Department posted the entirety of Flynn's plea deal online. Judging by the document, it looks like Flynn could be facing between zero and six months in prison, as well as up to $9,500 in fines. He is also legally bound to fully cooperate with the investigation, provide evidence of any crimes committed, and testify if necessary.
It will be a while before we know if Flynn will actually be testifying against the president, but experts claimed Tuesday that Flynn's arrest was "the beginning of the end" — as Gerald Lefcourt, lawyer and former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, put it to CNBC. As the first Trump administration official to be charged in the Special Counsel's investigation, Flynn is the "key to the whole thing," Lefcourt told CNBC.
However, one White House source reportedly told CNN that administration officials were not worried. "This is a win for the White House," the source reportedly said. "This doesn't lead back to Trump in any way, shape or form."
Regardless of where Flynn's arrest eventually leads, most experts have acknowledged that this is one of the largest developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and agree that it could have large ramifications later on. One thing's for sure, however: thanks to Flynn's guilty plea, most Americans will be watching Mueller's investigation very carefully for any new developments from here on out.