“Flynn was caught on (legal) FBI wiretaps, illegally discussing U.S.
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As I understand it, the issue is that private citizens cannot conduct foreign policy on behalf of the US, and Gen Flynn did not hold a government post at the time, so substantively discussing sanctions with Russia (essentially representing himself as negotiating for the government) was inherently an illegal activity. Or, to put it another way, he was discussing sanctions with Russia in an illegal manner.

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