Given Flynn's proximity to Trump during last year's presidential race and to Trump's inner circle until his ouster in February of this year, the agreement with Flynn and his cooperation in the Mueller probe signaled to many observers that the Justice Department's investigation has entered a new phase - with a possible focus on those closest to the president or perhaps even Donald Trump himself.
Spicer's comments indicated Flynn's ouster was driven by Trump's frustration that the adviser had misled Vice President Pence and others and not the fact he discussed sanctions with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived former national security adviser and high-profile supporter on the campaign trail, pleaded guilty Friday to a count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
A top FBI official working on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the election was removed over the summer after it was revealed that he'd allegedly sent anti-Trump text messages. He is a good guy. Asked if he stands by his former national security adviser, Trump said, "We'll see what happens".
Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI investigator, was shuffled off to the FBI's human resources department by Mueller after the Justice Department's inspector general opened an investigation into the texts, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Not only is Flynn the first person inside the Trump administration to be charged by Mueller, he also is the one individual who Trump apparently was trying to shield.
The discovery of the text messages came at a crucial moment in Mr. Mueller's investigation. "We passed the largest tax cuts in the history of our country and many other things along with it", Trump told reporters earlier Saturday.
"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed to Fox News. "From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election", reveals Strzok's exact role in the Hillary Clinton email case, and exactly how he handled it just three days before the election.
As acting attorney general at the end of the Obama administration, Yates and another Justice Department official went to the White House on January 26 to warn White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was potentially compromised and vulnerable to blackmail because of discrepancies between the public accounting of the Kislyak conversation and what actually occurred.