Michael Flynn resigns as Donald Trump's National security advisor
The FBI is actively probing Flynn�s interactions with Kislyak, and resigning from his White House post won�t shield Flynn from potential future criminal prosecution.
In a statement, the White House announced that Michael Flynn has resigned as President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor, amid escalating controversy over his contacts with Moscow.
Earlier in January, acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed Trump administration that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had lied to other top White House officials about his dealings with the Russian ambassador to the US and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Kremlin.
However, those lies have now cost Flynn his job. On Monday night, Flynn resigned amid growing questions about whether he had misled Vice President Mike Pence, and potentially the FBI, about his phone calls with the Russian envoy on December 29, the same day Obama administration slapped new sanctions on Moscow for its interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
In his resignation letter, Flynn said “the fast pace of events” during the transition meant that he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador.”
The US officials had earlier told Washington Post and New York Times that Flynn explicitly talked about the sanctions and hinted that Trump might be willing to lift them. That kind of conversation could be a violation of an obscure federal law, the Logan Act, which prohibits people outside the executive branch from making foreign policy on behalf of the US administration.
Notably, no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, but Flynn is facing a second and potentially far more dangerous investigation. The FBI is actively probing Flynn’s interactions with Kislyak, and resigning from his White House post won’t shield Flynn from potential future criminal prosecution.
However, it’s not a reassuring sign when an administration that has been in office for less than a month has to replace its national security adviser, which then comes as a tacit admission that the new president bungled one of his first major personnel choices. Flynn, though, had been particularly ill-suited to his post, with a personality and temperament that magnified many of Trump’s worst flaws.
In another statement, the White House informed that Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. will be the acting National Security Advisor.