“I’m confident Flynn is singing like a bird to Mueller.”

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador last December, a striking development in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

I reached out to nine legal experts and asked them a simple question: Does this mean that Flynn is now actively cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, which, if true, would put Trump and potentially his entire staff in legal jeopardy?

Their full responses, edited for clarity and style, are below.


Brandon Garrett, law professor, University of Virginia

An early guilty plea is a strong signal that Flynn negotiated with prosecutors and is cooperating. When there is a sentencing hearing, we will see whether Flynn receives credit for cooperating with prosecutors.

Another point worth noting is that a plea deal would only have been offered once there was real cooperation. Flynn must have already provided valuable cooperation in the investigation if a plea is being finalized.

Jens David Ohlin, law professor, Cornell University

The fact that Flynn was charged with, and is pleading guilty to, such a minor crime suggests a bombshell of a deal with prosecutors. Flynn was facing serious criminal liability for a variety of alleged missteps, including his failure to register as an agent of a foreign power. If this is the entirety of the plea deal, the best explanation for why Mueller would agree to it is that Flynn has something very valuable to offer in exchange: damaging testimony on someone else. Who? That’s not clear, but it probably is someone at the center — or close to the center — of this criminal enterprise.

Christopher Slobogin, law professor, Vanderbilt University

If the government has agreed not to Read More Here