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Judge now says U.S. doesn’t have to file Michael Flynn call transcript

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge said Tuesday that prosecutors no longer have to publicly file a transcript of the call between former adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, reversing course from an order last month.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had earlier directed prosecutors to make public details of a December 2016 call in which Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, discussed sanctions with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

He also ordered them to produce redacted portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that relate to Flynn as well as a transcript of a phone message a lawyer for Trump left for Flynn’s attorney after Flynn had decided to start cooperating with prosecutors.

On Friday, the deadline set by the judge, prosecutors publicly filed the transcript of the call between the lawyers and said all of the information in the report that Flynn had provided had been unredacted. But they declined to produce a transcript of Flynn’s call with Kislyak, saying they were not relying on that conversation to establish his guilt or to determine his sentence.

In a brief written order Tuesday, Sullivan said that “upon consideration of the government’s submissions in response to those orders, the government is not required to file any additional materials or information on the public docket.” He did not elaborate on why he had changed his mind.

Flynn is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contact with Kislyak. He was supposed to be sentenced in December, but midway through the hearing, took the judge up on his offer to postpone it so that he could continue cooperating and earn credit toward a lighter sentence.

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