Flynn entered the federal courtroom Friday morning surrounded by attorneys and family, wearing a light blue shirt, a grey suit, and a grim expression.
It's a truism of Washington scandals that it's not the initial actions that lead to legal disaster, but the attempt to cover them up.
This sweater has been unraveling from a thin initial thread. At worst, it implicates Trump directly in working, secretly and behind the scenes, to undermine Obama's foreign policy while the former administration was still in charge. "But we ought to know the facts".
During Trump's transition to the White House, Flynn reportedly has a second meeting with Turkish government officials at the 21 Club, an upscale NY restaurant.
The court filings on Friday also show that Flynn was working with other members of the Trump transition team when he spoke to Kislyak about USA sanctions against Russian Federation.
Why was Flynn lying about the Kislyak calls? 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. At a time when tensions were hightened between the United States and Russia, Flynn was asked about whether he discussed sanctions against the country with the ambassador before he took office.
Asked by Contreras how he would plead, Flynn said simply, "Guilty, your honor".
He said he wants to hear testimony from Jared Kushner and hear from others, including Donald Trump Jr. and attorney Michael Cohen.
STOCKS FALL: Here's what you need to know
The public lies about the December 29 call began to cascade.
The Special Counsel's probe has found illegal behavior stretching into the senior most levels of the White House. Their silence condoned the lies.
The documents allege that Flynn lied about conversations with the Russian Ambassador at the time, Sergei Kislyak. Now we'll know the truth.
"My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country", he said in a statement.
And then, as happens in a coverup, the lies began to get twisted.
A report from the Washington Post then said that Flynn has indeed discussed sanctions, reportedly causing rifts with senior colleagues who had defended him.
For Trump, the focus is on whether he has tried to stifle the investigation, including by firing FBI chief James Comey in May, which could draw charges of obstruction of justice, the same charges that forced president Richard Nixon from office in 1974. According to a memo Comey wrote afterward, Trump said: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".
Apparently, Mueller's team was seeking a deal of some kind to win Flynn's cooperation in that investigation.