US: Flynn Described Efforts to Interfere With Cooperation

President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn arrives at federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CN) – Memos by Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed Thursday revealed disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was contacted by people in the Trump administration and Congress before and after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI which would have “affected his willingness to cooperate.”

The unnamed person “connected to … Congress” tried to influence Flynn’s cooperation with the Special Counsel, according to one of the heavily redacted documents.

“The defendant informed the government of multiple instances, both before and after his guilty plea, where either he or his attorneys received communications from persons connected to the administration or Congress that could’ve affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.”

Mueller also received a voicemail from Flynn in which Trump’s personal attorney has words about Flynn’s cooperation.

“(It) wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve gone on to make a deal with… the government,” the voicemail provided by Flynn, a former lt. general, says.

After Flynn’s attorneys said they would no longer talk about the investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 campaign, Trump’s lawyer became “indignant and vocal in his disagreement.”

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered prosecutors to produce transcripts of the voicemail recording and any other audio recordings, including those of Flynn speaking with Russian officials, by May 31. Sullivan also ordered unredacted versions of Mueller’s report that relate to Flynn to be filed in the public docket.

Additionally, Mueller recounted Flynn’s help in the portion of the investigation regarding discussions by the Trump campaign to release emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta’s account.

“The defendant relayed to the government statements made in 2016 by senior campaign officials about WikiLeaks to which only a select few people were privy,” the memo said. “For example, the defendant recalled conversations with senior campaign officials after the release of the Podesta emails, during which the prospect of reaching out to WikiLeaks was discussed.”

Overall, Flynn aided the investigation on several topics according to Mueller.

“He assisted the Special Counsel’s Office on a range of issues, including interactions between individuals in the presidential transition team and Russia, discussions within the campaign about WikiLeaks release of emails and potential efforts to interfere with the SCO’s (Special Counsel Office’s) investigation,” the memo said.

Flynn was initially interviewed by two investigators at the White House in January 2017, shortly after Donald Trump took office. According to the unsealed memo, Flynn said he was trying to “build relationships” with the Russians.

A redacted and detailed summary of the agent’s visit to the White House says “Flynn was unguarded and clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.”

Before the interview, FBI General Counsel James Baker and others decided not to warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because “they wanted Flynn to be relaxed and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.” The agents briefed their superiors, who then brief then FBI Director James Comey.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 of lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s run-up to the presidency. Mueller has recommended Flynn receive a minimal amount of jail time in exchange for his cooperation.

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