From left: Rick Gates, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos. Photos: AP

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty today to "willfully and knowingly" lying to the FBI about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, making him the fourth former Trump staffer to be charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Why it matters: President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Russia probe is a "political witch hunt" and that there was no collusion among his staffers and the Russians.

The others charged in Mueller's investigation:

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

Manafort, Trump's former campaign advisor, and Gates, his business partner/protégé, were indicted in late October by a federal grand jury on 12 separate charges:

  • Conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agent Registration Act statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
  • Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Manafort faces up to about 15 years in prison, while Gates faces up to about 10 years.
  • State of play: The men have largely remained under court-ordered house arrest since the charges were filed. Their expected to begin trial in the spring of 2018.
  • Go deeper: How the Russia probe closed in on Paul Manafort; Meet Rick Gates
George Papadopoulos

The former Trump campaign advisor was named in the same indictments against Manafort and Gates. But Papadopoulos' charges were explicitly linked to attempts at collusion with Russia.

  • He was arrested in July and cut a deal with Mueller in October. He allegedly attempted to contact Russian officials in order to facilitate a meeting between Trump and high-level Russians.
  • On Oct. 30, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russians.
  • State of play: Papadopoulos' sentence hearing will be set for a later date, per the Special Counsel's Office. He will face up to six months in prison (though the max for this charge could be 5 years) and $500 to $9,500 in fines, according to the DOJ plea agreement.
  • Go deeper: The big questions surrounding George Papadopoulos; Papadopoulos claims he misled FBI to protect Trump

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,439,274 — Total deaths: 744,941— Total recoveries: 12,632,604Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,180,226 — Total deaths: 165,510 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin called her, White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

The latest: Around 3 p.m., Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement saying that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had initiated a phone call and made clear that the White House is "not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package."

New Jersey governor allows schools to reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Phil Murphy in December 2019. Phoot: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Wednesday he will sign an executive order allowing private and public K-12 schools and universities to reopen for in-person learning in September.

The big picture: New York and New Jersey have now authorized school districts to begin reopening. Both states and Connecticut ordered travelers from 31 states to quarantine before crossing their state borders after they were able to manage the pandemic.