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Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, asked the ex-Russian ambassador to the U.S. to take "reciprocal" action against Obama-era sanctions over election interference in late 2016, Politico reports, citing transcripts released to Congress on Friday.

Why it matters: The Justice Department dropped its prosecution of Flynn earlier this month, after he pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about discussing sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, the former Russian ambassador.

The big picture: Almost 2,000 former DOJ officials and former President Obama have accused Attorney General Bill Barr of politicizing the DOJ for its decision to drop charges against Flynn.

Between the lines: President Trump and his allies have long claimed that the Russia investigation — in which Flynn lied about his contact with Kislyak — was a political hit job by the Obama administration.

  • Flynn said in conversation with Kislyak as an incoming adviser that he wanted to avoid escalation over the sanctions, per the newly declassified transcripts.

What they're saying: “The transcripts also reveal why Flynn was properly the subject of a counterintelligence investigation and how the DOJ’s effort to dismiss the case against him is so transparently political and destructive to the interests of justice," House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Friday.

  • "As a result of lying to both the FBI and the Vice President, Flynn posed a severe counterintelligence risk because the Russians knew the real contents of Flynn’s communications and that he lied about them to some of the most senior officials in the U.S. government."

Go deeper: The facts on Michael Flynn, the FBI, and Bill Barr’s bombshell

Go deeper

Schiff calls on intelligence officials to attend briefing on election security

National Intelligence Director John L. Ratcliffe during his confirmation hearing in May. Photo: Gabriella Demczuk -Pool/Getty Images

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) requested on Friday that senior intelligence officials who have previously testified on Russian election interference give the committee a full briefing on Sept. 17.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed congressional committee heads in late August that in-person briefings on election security issues would no longer take place and lawmakers would instead receive written "intelligence products."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

IPOs keep rolling despite stock market volatility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Stock market volatility is supposed to be kryptonite for IPOs, causing issuers to hide out in their private market caves.

Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
51 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.