Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller information about several attempts by people to obstruct the Russia investigation, newly released court documents show.
According to the filings, which were unsealed at the prosecutors' request on May 16, the obstruction attempts were made by unidentified people associated with President Donald Trump’s administration or with Congress.
Prosecutors said Flynn reported 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."
After Flynn began cooperating with authorities, the filing said, an unidentified lawyer for Trump left a message with Flynn's attorneys telling them that the president still had warm feelings for Flynn and asked that they give a "heads-up" if Flynn knew damaging information about the president.
Mueller was tasked in 2017 with leading a probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 elections and possible interactions between Trump associates and Russian officials.
A redacted version of the report corroborated U.S. intelligence conclusions of Russian meddling and cited a lack of evidence of conspiracy by Trump or his associates with Russian interference.
On the topic of obstruction, the special counsel deferred to the view that a sitting president cannot be indicted and "did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct."
Flynn, a retired lieutenant-general and former director of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, was a top adviser to Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election, and Trump tapped him to be his first national-security adviser, a powerful White House position.
However, Flynn resigned his post in February 2017 after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to FBI investigators about those conversations, and he agreed to cooperate with law enforcement probing wider interactions with Russian officials. Flynn is awaiting sentencing.
Meanwhile, on May 16, the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, ordered that portions of Mueller's report relating to Flynn, which had previously been blacked out, be made public by the end of the month.
Sullivan also ordered that prosecutors turn over a copy of an audio recording they referenced in the court filing, and to make public a transcript of the call. The judge also directed prosecutors to make public transcripts of any calls with Russian officials, such as Kislyak.
The order could set up a conflict with Attorney General William Barr, who has so far resisted demands to turn over the full report.