Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the special counsel's office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress sought to influence his cooperation with the Russia investigation, and he provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, prosecutors said in a court filing made public Thursday. Prosecutors did not identify the people Flynn was in touch with, but they said he recounted 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." 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 US.
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, along with the voicemail connected to the probe. Thursday's order from US 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, the AP reports. 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. The judge also ordered the release of transcripts of Flynn's calls with Russian officials. (Barr has launched an investigation of the activities of the Russia investigation.)