National Security

Flynn provided details in Mueller’s obstruction inquiry, new memo shows

Prosecutors have unsealed new details in the case involving former national security adviser Michael Flynn, revealing that he provided information to special counsel Robert Mueller relevant to his obstruction inquiry. 

“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 have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation,” the filing states.

“The defendant even provided a voicemail recording of one such communication. In some of those instances, the SCO was unaware of the outreach until being alerted to it by the defendant,” the document continues.{mosads}

Flynn also provided information to prosecutors about discussions within President Trump’s campaign about WikiLeaks, the organization that released hacked Democratic emails tied to a Russian plot to interfere in the 2016 election, according to the new filing.

The new details appear in a less-redacted version of the government’s addendum to Flynn’s sentencing memo, which was filed last December. At the time, Mueller’s team recommended Flynn be given a lenient sentence as a result of his “substantial assistance” in the investigation.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with the Russian ambassador in December 2017, agreeing to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference.

The sentencing memo released last year, which was heavily redacted in places, showed that Flynn assisted Mueller in detailing interactions between the Trump transition team and Russia.

Flynn also assisted with the criminal investigation into his business associate Bijan Kian in the Eastern District of Virginia, according to the memo, but those details were restricted at the time because Kian hadn’t been charged. Kian was charged later in December with working as an unregistered foreign agent and has pleaded not guilty; his trial is slated for this summer.

The less-redacted filing also states that Flynn provided information on “discussions within the campaign about WikiLeaks’ release of emails” and “potential efforts to interfere with the SCO’s investigation” — phrases that were previously redacted. 

While providing new insights into Flynn’s cooperation, parts of the memo remain redacted, including what appears to be another unknown matter in which Flynn assisted the government in the course of his cooperation.

Mueller concluded his investigation in late March. He did not ultimately find sufficient evidence to charge members of the Trump campaign with conspiring with Russia. The special counsel also did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed the probe, but Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein judged the evidence to be insufficient to accuse Trump of obstruction. 

Numerous references to Flynn’s testimony appear throughout Mueller’s 448-page report, including in a section that lays out episodes the special counsel reviewed in the course of the investigation into possible obstruction by Trump. 

The report states that, after Flynn withdrew from a joint defense agreement with Trump and began cooperating with the investigation, “the President’s personal counsel left a message for Flynn’s attorneys reminding them of the President’s warm feelings towards Flynn, which he said ‘still remains,’ and asking for a ‘heads up’ if Flynn knew ‘information that implicates the President.'”

“When Flynn’s counsel reiterated that Flynn could no longer share information pursuant to a joint defense agreement, the President’s personal counsel said he would make sure that the President knew that Flynn’s actions reflected ‘hostility’ towards the President,” the report states.

Flynn was scheduled to be sentenced in late December but chose to postpone it, after the federal judge overseeing his case excoriated him in court and suggested he would give the former national security adviser jail time.

Flynn is expected to take the witness stand against Kian at his trial in July.

Tags Donald Trump Mueller investigation Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein William Barr

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