WASHINGTON – The Lawyers of Michael T. Flynn, Former President of Trump The security advisor informed the president's legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special advisor's investigation, according to four people involved in the case – a indication that Mr. Flynn cooperates with prosecutors or negotiates an agreement.
Mr. Flynn's lawyers had exchanged information with Mr. Trump's lawyers about the investigation by the special advocate, Robert S. Mueller III, who seeks to know if anyone around Mr. Trump was involved in the Russian efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
This agreement was terminated, said the four people. Defense counsel frequently share information during investigations, but they must stop doing so when this would create a conflict of interest. It is unethical for lawyers to work together when one client is cooperating with prosecutors and another is still under investigation
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The notification alone does not prove that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Some lawyers withdrew from information-sharing agreements as soon as they start negotiating with prosecutors.
However, the notification led Mr. Trump's lawyers to believe that Mr. Flynn – who, with his son, is considered to have significant criminal exposure – has, at the very least, initiated discussions with Mr. Mueller on cooperation.
The lawyers for Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump declined to comment. The four people who were informed about the case spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss it publicly.
An agreement with Mr. Flynn would allow Mr. Mueller to take a look at the Trump campaign and the tumultuous first weeks of administration. Mr. Flynn was an early and important advisor to Mr. Trump, an architect of Mr. Trump's populist platform "America First" and a supporter of closer ties with Russia.
His ties to Russia preceded the campaign – he was sitting with President Vladimir V. Putin at an event in Moscow in 2015 – and he was a member of the team of transition to deal with Russia.
The White House was prepared for charges against Mr. Flynn in recent weeks, particularly after the filing of charges against three other former Trump associates: Paul Manafort, his campaign chairman ; Rick Gates, a campaign assistant; and George Papadopoulos, Foreign Policy Adviser
But none of these men correspond to Mr. Flynn or his importance to Mr. Trump. A retired general of three stars, Mr. Flynn was one of Mr. Trump's early supporters and a valuable substitute for a candidate who had no experience in foreign policy. Mr. Trump has appointed him a national security adviser, he said, to help "restore America's leadership position in the world."
Among the interactions that Mr. Mueller is studying is a private meeting that Mr. Flynn had with the Russian ambassador and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of the president, during the presidential transition. Last year, it was revealed that people with ties to Russia were repeatedly trying to meet with Trump campaigners, sometimes promising to compromise information about Mrs. Clinton. Flynn is considered loyal to Trump, but in recent weeks he has expressed serious concern to his friends that prosecutors will lay charges against his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who was the chief of staff. from his father and was part of agreements involving the elder Mr. Flynn that Mr. Mueller is watching
The White House said that neither Mr. Flynn nor any other former collaborators have ever been involved. have incriminating information to provide about Mr. Trump. "He likes General Flynn personally, but he understands that they have their own way with the special advocate," said White House lawyer Ty Cobb in an interview last month at the New York Times. "I think it would be sad for them, as a friend and former colleague, if the process results in punishment or indictment." But as far as that happens, it's beyond his control. "
Flynn was supposed to have been the cornerstone of Trump's national security team, and instead was expelled after a month in office during his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, Mr. Flynn's handling of these conversations fueled the suspicion that the people around Mr. Trump had concealed their relations with the Russians, aggravating a controversy that lasted the first year of the president's term.
Four days after Mr. Trump's promise in, the FBI interviewed Mr. Flynn at the White House about his appeals with him. American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been Mr. Flynn's conversations and misrepresentations about them to Vice President Mike Pence were noted by Interim Attorney General Sally Q. Yates as warning the White House that Mr. Flynn might be at risk.
Conversations with the Russian Ambassador that led to the defeat of Mr. Flynn took place during the presidential transition. When questions about them were raised, Mr. Flynn told Mr. Pence that they had only exchanged holiday greetings – the conversations took place at the end of December, when the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia
Pence and White House press officers publicly repeated the Christmas greetings statement, Mr Flynn and the ambassador had discussed sanctions. Who invited the idea that the new administration was trying to undermine the outgoing president and win the favor of Moscow.
Trump requested the resignation of Mr. Flynn only after the news broke that Mr. Flynn had been interviewed by F.B.I. and that Mrs. Yates had warned the White House that her false statements could make him vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
Since then Mr. Flynn's legal problems have increased. It was revealed that he had not listed payments from entities related to Russia on financial disclosure forms. He did not mention a paid speech he delivered in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies related to Russia.
The ex-F.B.I. The director, James B. Comey, testified before Congress that Mr. Trump had asked him to end the government's investigation into Mr. Flynn during a one-on-one meeting at the office oval, the day after Mr. Flynn's dismissal. Mr. Trump's request caused great concern to Mr. Comey, who immediately wrote a memo about his meeting with the President
And the investigators working for Mr. Mueller interviewed witnesses to find out if Mr. Flynn had been secretly paid by the president. Turkish government during the presidential campaign. Mr. Flynn revealed late, after leaving the White House, that the Turkish government had paid him more than $ 500,000
. Flynn's shot was, in some ways, the first domino that triggered a cascade of problems for Mr. Trump. After the president ousted Mr. Comey, news surfaced that the president had called for the end of Flynn's investigation, a revelation that led to the appointment of Mr. Mueller. This, in turn, raised the profile of an investigation that the president had tried to contain powerfully.
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