Memos reveal more information about Michael Flynn's cooperation with Mueller

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2019

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told investigators that people linked to the Trump administration and Congress reached out to him in an effort to interfere in the Russian Federation probe, according to newly-unredacted court papers filed Thursday.

Prosecutors did not identify the people with whom Flynn was in touch, nor did they detail the conversations.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing Flynn's case, further ordered the government to disclose transcripts of the voicemail recording and of Flynn's conversations with Russian officials by May 31, and an unredacted version of the sections of Mueller's report relating to Flynn. It could set up a conflict with Attorney General William Barr, whose team spent weeks blacking out from the report grand jury information, details of ongoing investigations and other sensitive information.

Mueller did not ultimately charge Trump or anyone in his orbit concerning those communications, even though the special counsel's office examined almost a dozen episodes for potential obstruction, including purported efforts by the president to discourage cooperation. The filing from Mueller's office is reportedly the first "public acknowledgment that a person connected to Capitol Hill was suspected of engaging in an attempt to impede the investigation", per NBC News.

No other details were provided in the filing, but the Mueller report noted that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer left a voicemail message for Flynn in late November 2017 that addressed the possibility of him cooperating with the government.

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Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his December 2016 conversations with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador in Washington, about USA sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. His forced resignation occured after information surfaced about how he misled the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Vice President Mike Pence about his communication with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that confidential parts of Flynn's court record could be made public now because the Mueller report is out.

Flynn was supposed to have been sentenced in December, with prosecutors saying he was so cooperative and helpful in their investigation that he was entitled to avoid prison.

Flynn had been scheduled to be sentenced on December 18 but the judge fiercely criticized the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general for his actions and delayed his sentencing until after he had finished helping prosecutors with other probes.

Investigators said Flynn's cooperation was "particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the [special counsel's office]".

The report found no evidence that Trump, or any of his administration, campaign or associates, had conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 presidential election. That includes conversations with senior campaign officials "during which the prospect of reaching out to WikiLeaks was discussed".

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