Mueller’s office says Flynn co-operated in Russia probe
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK — U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn provided “substantial” cooperation with its probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow.
Mueller’s office said in a court filing Flynn assisted with the investigation “concerning links or co-ordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign”.
Flynn also provided “first-hand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials,” the filing said.
Citing 19 interviews provided by Flynn to it and other federal prosecutors, Mueller’s office asked a federal judge not to sentence him to prison.
Prosecutors said Flynn also provided help on other criminal investigations, although those details were blacked out to keep information about ongoing probes secret.
David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, said the redacted portions likely pointed to impending charges against others in Trump’s orbit and raised doubts about speculation that Mueller was nearing the end of his probe.
“It must relate to other people who he believes are involved in the overall conspiracy or collusion that he is tasked with investigating,” Weinstein said. “If he was almost done there would have been virtually nothing blacked out.”
Flynn, who held the White House job for only 24 days, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. He will be sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 18.
He is so far the only member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered during Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election and potential collusion by Trump aides.
Mueller’s probe, which could threaten Trump’s presidency, has already ensnared 32 individuals and three Russian firms. He is expected to issue a report on his findings possibly some time next year.
Others charged by Mueller include Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign deputy Rick Gates, as well as Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump skyscraper in Moscow. Moscow denies meddling in the elections.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating allegations of Russian collusion, said the memo indicated Flynn had provided a significant boost to Mueller’s probe.
Flynn, a retired army general, was forced to resign as national security adviser in February 2017 after he was found to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussions he had with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergei Kislyak. — Reuters.