Justice Dept. Keeps Wiretaps Secret in Flynn Case, Rejecting Judge’s Order – The New York Times
The calls between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak were referenced repeatedly in court documents and the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference but never released, and prosecutors have not acknowledged the existence of the wiretap. Judge Sullivan, who is overseeing Mr. Flynn’s case, ordered that audio recordings of his conversations with Mr. Kislyak be made public along with a voice mail message made by the president’s lawyer.
The Justice Department’s refusal to comply with the judge’s order made clear that prosecutors had no interest in confirming the wiretap, which was approved by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“This would be a rare step to make public” such intelligence collection, said Joshua Geltzer, a former Justice Department official. “What you see in today’s filing is the government trying to avoid disclosing that material.”
Instead, prosecutors asserted that they did not need to provide the transcripts because they were, in the end, not vital to the prosecution of Mr. Flynn. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the F.B.I. after agents interviewed him about what was said on those calls.
“The government further represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant’s guilt or determining his sentence, nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing responding to Judge Sullivan’s order.