On Friday, the Department of Justice released a voicemail transcript left by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, for Rob Kelner, the lawyer for former national security advisor Michael Flynn, CNN reports. In the voicemail, Dowd seems to be seeking information about Flynn’s discussions with the special counsel’s office in the midst of Flynn striking a cooperation deal with Robert Mueller and his team, as part of their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
As The Inquisitr detailed, Flynn briefly served as Trump’s national security advisor before pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He is currently awaiting sentencing. Earlier in the month, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered that the Justice Department release a number of materials related to the case in response to a motion filed by The Washington Post. While federal prosecutors refused to comply with most of the order, they did deliver the complete transcript of the voicemail between Dowd and Kelner.
The transcript reflects a lengthy, stammering message in which Dowd dances around the issue of Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller’s office. It closes with what appears to many to be a suggestion that the president would look out for Flynn in the face of the investigation, with Dowd asking that Kelner “remember what we’ve always said about the President and his feelings for Flynn.”
“Thanks, Pal,” the message concludes.
JUST FILED: Transcript of Nov. 22, 2017, voicemail from Trump lawyer John Dowd to Michael Flynn's lawyer pic.twitter.com/GU4RjC1nxT— David S. Joachim (@davidjoachim) May 31, 2019
In response to the release of the transcript, Dowd hit back in a prepared statement in which he reaffirmed his and the president’s cooperation with Mueller’s investigation.
“This is clearly a baseless, political document designed to smear and damage the reputation of counsel and innocent people,” the statement reads. Dowd goes on to say that they had given Flynn “documents, advice and encouragement… as part of his effort to cooperate” with the special counsel’s investigation. He also indicated that Mueller and his team never questioned the president’s lawyers about this possible element of obstruction.
Flynn was originally scheduled to be sentenced in December for lying to the FBI, but successfully lobbied for the judge to postpone that date while he cooperates with prosecutors as part of an ongoing case against Flynn’s former lobbying partner. The sentencing has not yet been rescheduled.
Flynn reportedly aims to avoid prison time altogether based on his cooperation. Prosecutors have indicated to the judge that they supported the possibility of little-to-no time in jail.