Fmr. Acting AG Yates To Testify In Senate Panel's Russia Probe

Cheryl Sanders
May 9, 2017

The White House knew for weeks that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was possibly vulnerable to blackmail attempts by the Kremlin before firing him, former acting attorney general Sally Yates told the US Senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on May 8.

Ms Yates said she told Mr McGahn that the Russians knew about what Mr Flynn had done and the Russians knew that Mr Flynn had misled the vice president and others about what he had done. She did not specify what that was.

"Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council".

Two top officials of former President Barack Obama's administration appeared in the U.S. Senate Monday to testify about the relationship between the Russian government and President Donald Trump's campaign previous year.

"Logic would tell you that you don't want the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians have leverage over him", she said.

Flynn was sacked on Feb.13, more than two weeks after Yates told the White House counsel that Flynn had misled officials, including vice president Mike Pence, about conversations he'd had with Russian officials.

Hours before Monday's Senate hearing, Trump insinuated that Yates, an Obama administration appointment, had leaked information on Flynn to the media.

Trump shouldered into the conversation early in the morning, tweeting that it was the Obama administration, not he, that had given Lt. Gen. Flynn "the highest security clearance" when he worked at the Pentagon.

James Clapper, director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama, testified as well. James Clapper, director of national intelligence under President Obama, testified as well today. Trump made no mention of the fact that Flynn was sacked by the Obama administration in 2014. That changed with the Justice Department, under the Trump administration, sent a letter to her attorney warning that there was a limit to what she could reveal.

She said foreign interference in US elections poses "a serious threat to all Americans, " as she began testifying at a packed hearing about her warning to the White House about Flynn.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing Monday that Trump's tweet about Yates "speaks for itself".

Congressional committees began investigating after USA intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered hacking of Democratic political groups to try to sway the election toward Trump. And last week, Graham signaled that senators will ask Yates about what other possible considerations drove her to alert the White House counsel about her concerns for Flynn. He's dismissed FBI and congressional investigations into his campaign's possible ties to the election meddling as a "hoax" driven by Democrats bitter over losing the White House.

"I$3 began our meeting telling him that there had been press [stories] of statements from [Vice President Mike Pence] and others that related conduct that Mr. Flynn had been involved in, that we knew not to be the truth". The revelation came after interviews with a host of former USA officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive national security information.

Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, questioned Yates heatedly about her objections to Trump's travel ban.

The subcommittee meeting today is one of multiple congressional probes into the Russian Federation interference, along with House and Senate intelligence panels. All the committees are led by Republicans.

Separately, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which along with the House Intelligence Committee are conducting a parallel inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, recently asked the advisers to provide information about their activities.

Other reports by iNewsToday