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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, December 2018. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

FBI documents provided to lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and released by a federal judge Wednesday evening show bureau officials asked whether their "goal" was "to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired."

Why it matters: Flynn was the first Trump associate to be convicted or plead guilty in the Mueller investigation, but he's seeking to withdraw his plea related to allegedly lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. The unsealed documents could help him build his case.

Details: The exact source of the partially redacted documents is unclear, but it appears to be written before Flynn's interview with the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017.

  • "If we're seen as playing games, WH will be furious," one note states. "Protect our institution by not playing games."
  • Another passage reads, "What is our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"

What they're saying: President Trump said last month he's "strongly considering" a full pardon for Flynn. He tweeted late Wednesday that news outlets do not "want to speak about their persecution" of Flynn and "why they got the story so wrong" and the media "should pay a big price for what they have purposely done to this man" and his family.

  • Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, "Not only should general Flynn’s charges be dropped immediately but the treasonous actors who set him up should be in jail!!!"

What's next: U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has delayed Flynn's sentencing in Washington, D.C., to a later date while he awaits submissions on the former national security adviser's claim that his previous attorneys violated his constitutional rights by not giving him adequate legal counsel.

Read the documents:

Go deeper: Prosecutors recommend Michael Flynn serve up to 6 months in prison

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

49 mins ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.