Reports: Flynn's lawyers ending contact with Trump's team

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Nov. 24, 2017 at 3:35 AM
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Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Michael Flynn's lawyers no longer are discussing the special counsel's investigation with President Donald Trump's legal team, possibly signaling the former White House aide is working with prosecutors, according to reports.

Four people involved in the case told The New York Times that an agreement has been terminated between former national security adviser and the president's legal team.

The Washington Post reported that Flynn's lawyer Robert Kelner contacted Trump attorney John Dowd on Wednesday.

It unethical for lawyers to have a sharing agreement if one of them is working with federal prosecutors. Because Flynn and son Mike Flynn Jr. face criminal prosecution, he might want to cooperate to reach a deal even though he has been loyal to the president.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump, said to The Washington Post that "this is not entirely unexpected."

"No one should draw the conclusion that this means anything about General Flynn cooperating against the president," he said. "It's important to remember that Gen. Flynn received his security clearance under the previous administration."

Robert Mueller, the special counselor, reportedly is investigating a private meeting that Flynn had with the Russian ambassador and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, during the presidential transition. People with ties to Russia repeatedly attempted to meet with Trump campaign officials with the premise of providing negative information about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Flynn was forced out after less than a month in office because he secretly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

Trump's legal staff has said Flynn nor other former aides have incriminating information about the president.

"He likes general Flynn personally, but understands that they have their own path with the special counsel," a White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, said in an interview last month with The New York Times. "I think he would be sad for them, as a friend and a former colleague, if the process results in punishment or indictments. But to the extent that that happens, that's beyond his control."

Trump will not be paying Flynn's legal bills, a White House ethics official confirmed to CBS News.

"POTUS is not paying anything to Flynn," the official told CBS News. "President [Trump] has never been approached for money from Manafort or Flynn and would not contribute under these circumstances."

Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, has been indicted on charges of money laundering.

In September, Flynn's family established a legal defense fund, saying the legal bills are more than the family can afford.

Trump is finalizing a plan to use personal funds to pay the legal costs of current and former White House staff, Cobb said in an interview with Bloomberg. The Office of Government Ethics and a tax firm are working on a way for it to happen.

"The president has assumed responsibility for his own legal fees and while he isn't involved directly in the creation of a mechanism to take care of staffers, it is important to him that they be taken care of and whatever approach is agreed upon by OGE and relevant tax authorities be bulletproof," said Cobb.

The Republican National Committee had paid out $131,250 to Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow and $100,000 to Dowd.

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