Investigative journalist and Russia expert Michael Isikoff read special counsel Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo for former Trump aide Michael Flynn “about 20 times” — and deciphered it through the redactions for his fellow CNN panelists Wednesday evening.
While many people speculating about what’s underneath the blacked-out phrases in the heavily-redacted memo are “reading tea leaves,” Isikoff admitted, there is a way to “parse it.”
“There appears to be a reference to three investigations that Flynn has been cooperating with,” the reporter noted– and only one of them is Mueller’s “Russia mandate” that focused on alleged “coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.”
The other two investigations are criminal, Isikoff added, noting that one appears to have been farmed out to US attorneys or other Justice Department prosecutors.
“If you look at the wording in how Flynn’s cooperation is described in each of these three, you see the phrase, ‘substantial assistance in the criminal investigation, non-Russia,'” he pointed out. “That suggests Flynn has provided information about somebody else. He’s fingered somebody who they can bring prosecutions against.”
In the memo’s section about Russia, however, the phrase “substantial assistance” isn’t used — rather, the memo says Flynn “assisted” and “provided useful information.”
To Isikoff, that suggests Flynn didn’t rat someone out for prosecution but rather pointed prosecutors in the direction of others who provided them with further information about the investigations.
Host Anderson Cooper jokingly pointed out that meanwhile, Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani claimed Flynn didn’t know “bupkis.”
Watch below via CNN: