My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's office reflect a decision I made int he best interests of my family and our country.
In a statement, Flynn said he acknowledged that his actions "were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right".
The sanctions were ordered in response to "aggressive harassment of USA officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election", Obama said in a statement on December 29, 2016.
Flynn is the latest to be charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into whether President Donald Trump's campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to swing the 2016 election.
Flynn appeared in court after Mueller said in a court document filed on Thursday that the ex-national security adviser "did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when questioned in January 2017 in Washington, about his contacts with Russian officials.
The 58-year-old Flynn - a retired three-star Army general - is the fourth, and so far most senior, figure indicted in the sprawling investigation into Russian interference in last year's election. The Statement of the Offense included important new details, including that Flynn was directed by a senior transition official to contact Russian officials in an effort to influence Russia's response to the Obama Administration's imposition of sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution vote on Israeli settlements, and, crucially, that he reported back to transition officials.
The government did not reveal the identity of the senior transition official.
Michael Flynn is ready to spill the beans on Trump, according to Ross.
As per the charge sheet, 58-year-old Flynn, a retired general, lied when he told investigators that he did not ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to sanctions that then-president Barack Obama had imposed on Russian Federation, and that he did not ask the ambassador to either delay or defeat a related UN Security Council vote.
"It is part of an alarming pattern in which the President has already fired the FBI Director; pressured the Attorney General and top USA intelligence officials to interfere with an ongoing investigation; and contemplated issuing pardons for his associates or firing the special counsel, according to numerous press reports", Warner continued.
In a striking rupture with past practice, the Obama administration refrained from vetoing the condemnation, opting instead to abstain. He told a Trump transition official about that call.
The White House, which has long denied any wrongdoing in relation to Moscow, said Flynn's false statements "mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year".
White House lawyer Ty Cobb sought to distance the plea from Trump himself, saying, "Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn".
The opposition Democratic Party was quick to slam Trump.
"Since the first day I took office, all you hear is the phony Democrat excuse for losing the election, Russia, Russia, Russia", he tweeted last week. He has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller in exchange for leniency.