Washington, May 17 (IANS) Convicted former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn proved to be valuable in the Russia probe because he informed Special Counsel Robert Mueller that people connected to President Donald Trump's administration or Congress had contacted him, newly unsealed court records have revealed.
Flynn gave Mueller a voicemail recording of one of the conversations, the record from the Justice Department said on Thursday.
The conversations became a significant avenue of inquiry for Mueller as he looked into whether Trump had obstructed justice, CNN reported.
The communications, from "persons connected to the Administration or Congress", Mueller wrote, "could have affected both (Flynn's) willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation".
"In some of those instances, the (Special Counsel's Office) was unaware of the outreach until being alerted to it" by Flynn, the newly unsealed court record said.
The voicemail from a Trump contact came the same night Flynn's lawyers told attorneys for the President and the White House that they could no longer talk.
It was days before Flynn pleaded guilty to a felony and formally agreed to cooperate with Mueller.
Mueller determined that the voicemail could have obstructed the investigation but did not know if Trump himself had prompted the call.
"That sequence of events could have had the potential to affect Flynn's decision to cooperate, as well as the extent of that cooperation. Because of privilege issues, however, we could not determine whether the President was personally involved in or knew about the specific message his counsel delivered to Flynn's counsel," Mueller wrote in his report.
In all, the Flynn court records revealed on Thursday show that the fired first national security adviser helped Mueller's investigation on at least three levels as Mueller looked into interaction between the Trump transition team and Russia, WikiLeaks' release of emails during the presidential campaign and the President's efforts to interfere with the investigation, CNN said.
Mueller's final report had made clear that Flynn contributed to the probe into the presidential transition and possible obstruction of justice by the President.
The newly unsealed parts of Flynn's case also highlight how important it was that he became an early, well-known co-operator with Mueller.