- Former national security adviser Michael Flynn testified to the special counsel Robert Mueller that people connected to President Donald Trump and Congress tried to interfere with the Russia investigation, according to an unredacted court filing released on Thursday.
- Mueller’s office said it was “unaware” of some of the communication until Flynn informed prosecutors of them, and that the contacts “could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.”
- The unsealed court document is the first indication that a person with congressional ties sought to communicate with Flynn during Mueller’s investigation.
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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn testified to the special counsel Robert Mueller that people linked to President Donald Trump and Congress sought to interfere with the Russia investigation, according to a newly unsealed part of Flynn’s December sentencing memo.
The special counsel’s office wrote it was “unaware” of some of the communications until Flynn informed prosecutors of them, and that the contacts “could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.”
The unsealed filing is the first indication that connected to Congress tried to meddle in the investigation.
It also adds to a growing list of evidence – much of which was laid out in Mueller’s report – demonstrating the lengths Trump and his allies went to in order to thwart the investigation.
The court filing said the president’s personal lawyer left a voicemail for Flynn’s legal team after Flynn withdrew from his joint defence agreement with Trump and the president’s lawyers.
The Mueller report, which was released last month, noted that Trump’s personal lawyer left a voicemail for Flynn in November 2017 that touched on the possibility of him cooperating with the government.
“[I]t wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve gone on to make a deal with… the government,” the lawyer said in the voicemail.
[I]f… there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue [so] … we need some kind of heads up. Just for the sake of protecting all our interests if we can …. [R]emember what we’ve always said about the President and his feelings toward Flynn and, that still remains.”
Two of Trump’s personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, have said they never communicated with Flynn or his lawyer.
Thursday’s court filing also adds a layer to previous reporting that in the summer of 2017, Trump’s attorney at the time, John Dowd, floated the possibility of presidential pardons for Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in exchange for their refusal to cooperate with prosecutors.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to the FBI about his communications with the former Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. He has since been cooperating since then with the Justice Department and Mueller’s office.
In its sentencing memo, the government recommended Flynn get little to no jail time, citing the “substantial assistance” he provided to not only the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, but separate, ongoing investigations.
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