Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday night released a memo detailing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn's 2017 interview with the FBI. During that time, Flynn lied about his contact with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
During the interview that took place on Jan. 24, 2017, Flynn repeatedly denied having any discussions with Kislyak about sanctions on Russia as a result of Moscow’s efforts to intervene in the 2016 presidential election.
Flynn eventually resigned as President Donald Trump's national security advisor in February 2017 when it became clear that he mislead administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his discussions with Kislyak over Russian sanctions.
A few months later, Flynn admitted that he lied to FBI officials. He then decided to cooperate with the Mueller probe.
From The Hill:
The memo released Monday, which is heavily redacted, offers new insight into the interview from the early months of the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.
It states that the FBI agents asked Flynn whether he remembered any interaction with Kislyak “surrounding the expulsion of Russian diplomats or closing of Russian properties in response to Russian hacking activities surrounding the election.” Flynn denied it, claiming that he was unaware of the planned sanctions during a call with Kislyak in late December 2016 because he was on vacation with his wife in the Dominican Republic.
It was on Dec. 29, 2016, that Flynn has since admitted he asked Kislyak to “refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions imposed that day, according to court filings unsealed when Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty last December.
Flynn also at one point told the agents interviewing him that “it was possible that he talked to Kislyak on the issue, but if he did, he did not remember doing so,” according to the memo.
Flynn’s calls with Kislyak are said to have been picked up by U.S. officials as a result of routine intelligence operations against Russian officials.
At one point during the interview, the agents asked Flynn if he discussed a U.N. vote regarding Israeli settlements with Kislyak, and he responded “Yes, good reminder.”
Flynn went on to explain that he called officials in several countries on Dec. 22, 2016, including Israel, the United Kingdom, and possibly Russia, but claimed he did so only to understand where they stood on the resolution.
When pressed on whether he asked Kislyak to vote one way or another, Flynn replied that he did not and “stated his calls were about asking where countries would stand on a vote, not any requests of, ‘hey, if you do this.’”
The memo was released ahead of Flynn's sentencing, which will take place Tuesday morning, and was done at the request of the judge overseeing Flynn's case. Flynn's attorneys had argued that their client had been entrapped by FBI agents who conducted the interviews. His attorney's believe that entrapment should be considered when his sentencing is considered.