Flynn says in fil­ing co­op­er­a­tion tested

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - Front Page - ERIC TUCKER AND MICHAEL BAL­SAMO

WASH­ING­TON — For­mer White House na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn told the spe­cial coun­sel’s of­fice that peo­ple con­nected to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and Con­gress sought to in­flu­ence his co­op­er­a­tion with the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and he pro­vided a voice mail record­ing of one such com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pros­e­cu­tors said in a court fil­ing made pub­lic Thurs­day.

Mean­while, the judge in the case or­dered that por­tions of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s re­port that re­late to Flynn be unredacted and made pub­lic by the end of the month.

Thurs­day’s or­der from U.S. Dis­trict Judge Em­met Sul­li­van is the first time a judge is known to have directed the Jus­tice De­part­ment to make pub­lic any por­tion of the re­port that the agency had kept se­cret. It could set up a con­flict with At­tor­ney Gen­eral Wil­liam Barr, whose team spent weeks black­ing out from the re­port grand jury in­for­ma­tion, de­tails of on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions and other sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tors re­vealed de­tails about Flynn’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions in a court fil­ing aimed at show­ing the ex­tent of his co­op­er­a­tion with Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into ties be­tween the Trump

cam­paign and Rus­sia. Flynn, a vi­tal wit­ness in the probe, is await­ing sen­tenc­ing af­ter plead­ing guilty to ly­ing to the FBI about his con­tacts dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion pe­riod in 2016 with the then-Rus­sian am­bas­sador to the United States.

Pros­e­cu­tors did not iden­tify the peo­ple with whom Flynn was in touch nor did they de­scribe the ex­act con­ver­sa­tions. But they said Flynn re­counted mul­ti­ple in­stances in which “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.” Pros­e­cu­tors say they were un­aware of some of those in­stances, which took place be­fore and af­ter his guilty plea, un­til Flynn told them about them.

Mueller’s re­port did not reach a con­clu­sion on whether Trump il­le­gally ob­structed jus­tice, but Mueller did ex­am­ine nearly a dozen episodes for po­ten­tial ob­struc­tion, in­clud­ing ef­forts by the pres­i­dent to dis­cour­age co­op­er­a­tion.

The re­port re­veals that af­ter Flynn be­gan co­op­er­at­ing with the govern­ment, an uniden­ti­fied Trump lawyer left a mes­sage with Flynn’s at­tor­neys re­mind­ing them that the pres­i­dent still had warm feel­ings for Flynn and ask­ing for a “heads-up” if Flynn knew

dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about the pres­i­dent.

Sul­li­van or­dered pros­e­cu­tors Thurs­day to give him a copy of the au­dio record­ing they ref­er­ence in the court fil­ing and to make pub­lic a tran­script of that call. He also directed them to file pub­licly tran­scripts of any calls with Rus­sian of­fi­cials such as for­mer Am­bas­sador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn was sup­posed to have been sen­tenced in De­cem­ber, with pros­e­cu­tors say­ing he was so co­op­er­a­tive and help­ful in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion that he was en­ti­tled to avoid prison. But af­ter a judge sharply crit­i­cized Flynn dur­ing his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Flynn asked for it to be post­poned so that he could con­tinue co­op­er­at­ing with pros­e­cu­tors and re­duce the like­li­hood of be­ing sent to prison.

The doc­u­ment also de­tails how Flynn as­sisted in­ves­ti­ga­tors as they looked into whether the Trump cam­paign con­spired with the Krem­lin to sway the outcome of the 2016 elec­tion.

Flynn de­scribed to in­ves­ti­ga­tors state­ments from se­nior cam­paign of­fi­cials in 2016 about WikiLeaks — which re­ceived and pub­lished Demo­cratic emails that were hacked by Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers “to which only a se­lect few peo­ple were privy,” pros­e­cu­tors said. That in­cludes con­ver­sa­tions with se­nior cam­paign of­fi­cials “dur­ing which the prospect of reach­ing out to WikiLeaks was dis­cussed.”

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