WASHINGTON (CN) — A call between Michael Flynn and Sergey Kislyak is no longer needed as evidence in the case brought against the former national security adviser for lying to the FBI, a federal judge ruled.
Flynn reached out to Kislyak in 2016 to discuss sanctions with the then-Russian ambassador. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had previously directed prosecutors to make the conversation public but reversed this order late Tuesday.
Sullivan offered no explanation for the change of direction. “Upon consideration of the government’s submissions in response to those orders,” a brief docket entry states, “the government is not required to file any additional materials or information on the public docket.”
Sullivan did not elaborate on that order further Wednesday.
Lawyers for the Justice Department responded Friday to the judge’s order for them to publicly file redacted portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report relating to Flynn, including a transcript of a voicemail from Trump’s personal lawyer to Flynn’s attorney after Flynn decided to cooperate with prosecutors.
In failing to produce a transcript of Flynn’s call with Kislyak, however, the government said they are not relying on the conversation to establish guilt or to determine Flynn’s sentence.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contact with Kislyak. His sentencing date was slated for December but postponed as his cooperation with the government continues, part of a bid to net a lighter sentence.