An attorney for President Trump asked former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for a “heads-up” if he planned to tell special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators damaging information about the president, according to a full transcript of the voicemail released by federal prosecutors Friday.
The lawyer also reminded Flynn that the president has positive feelings towards him, the transcript shows.
Federal prosecutors released the full transcript of the November 2017 voicemail left by ex-Trump attorney John Dowd in a court filing. Flynn said the call was an effort to obstruct his cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s probe.
Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and is awaiting sentencing.
In the voicemail, Mr. Dowd asks Flynn to inform them if he had damaging information about the president after Flynn dropped out of a joint defense agreement with the president and started cooperating with the Mueller investigation.
“I understand that you can’t join the joint defense; so that’s one thing. If, on the other hand, we have, there’s information that … implicates the president, then we’ve got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, I don’t know … some issue, we got to — we got to deal with, not only for the president, but for the country. So … uh … you know, then-then, you know, we need some kind of heads-up,” Mr. Dowd said, according to the transcript.
He then goes on to remind Flynn that the president always had warm feelings towards him and “that still remains.”
“During the joint defense relationship, counsel for the president provided to Flynn’s counsel documents, advice and encouragement to provide to SC [the special counsel] as part of his effort to cooperate with the SC,” Mr. Dowd said in a statement. “SC never raised or questioned the president’s counsel about these allegations despite numerous opportunities to do so.”
Over the span of 19 interviews, Flynn provided the government with 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 his cooperation,” Mr. Mueller wrote in a court filing this month.
The Mueller report references a voicemail to Flynn’s counsel that was made in November 2017, but it is not clear if it is the same call detailed in the transcript.
The report says the call came to Flynn’s counsel from the president’s personal counsel without naming names. But some facts match, including the date and use of phrases such as “heads-up.” In the transcript released Friday, Mr. Dowd leaves the call for someone named “Rob,” who could be Flynn’s attorney.
Separately, the Justice Department balked at Judge Emmett Sullivan’s order to hand over transcripts of Flynn’s calls with Russian officials. The transcripts included Flynn’s contacts with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak.
Flynn later admitted that he lied to investigators about his communications with Mr. Kisylak.
Prosecutors said they didn’t need to submit those transcripts because it is not part of his sentencing record.
“The government further represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant’s guilty or determining his sentence, nor are there other recordings that are part of the sentencing record,” prosecutors wrote.
Judge Sullivan also ordered prosecutors to make public redacted portions of the Mueller report involving Flynn, but prosecutors said that wasn’t necessary. They wrote in the filing that all of the information about Flynn that was part of the report is already public.
Prosecutors said he provided information about discussions within Mr. Trump’s campaign to reach out to WikiLeaks, according to court filings.
Just before the 2016 presidential election, WikiLeaks released emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Flynn also cooperated in the case against his business associate, Bijan Kian, according to a previous court filing.
Mr. Kian was charged in December with failing to register as a foreign agent. He has pleaded not guilty and a trial is slated for July. Flynn is expected to testify.
Mr. Mueller wrapped up his investigation in March, but declined to make a call as to whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice. Attorney General William P. Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the issue.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this story.
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