WASHINGTON ― Sally Yates, the federal career prosecutor who served as acting attorney general for the first 10 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, told a Senate subcommittee on Monday that she warned a top Trump administration official that appointee Michael Flynnwas “compromised” and “could essentially be blackmailed” by the Russians.
Yates in late January called White House Counsel Don McGahn and told him she needed to talk to him in person about a sensitive matter, she testified to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. She said she met with McGahn at the White House on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27, and told him that Flynn had provided information to Vice President Mike Pence that the Justice Department “knew to be untrue.” Yates declined to characterize Flynn’s conduct.
Her testimony echoed a Washington Post report in February that described Yates’ warning to McGahn that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December. Yates met with McGahn after Pence had made inaccurate statements on national television, assuring the public that Flynn had not discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak.
“We felt like the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information they were conveying to the American people wasn’t true,” Yates said. “We were concerned that the American people had been misled about underlying conduct and what Gen. Flynn had done.”
Perhaps more importantly, the Justice Department suspected Moscow was watching the situation unfold and could use it to an advantage. “The Russians also knew about what Gen. Flynn had done, and the Russians also knew that Gen. Flynn had misled the vice president and others,” and created a situation “where the national security adviser could essentially be blackmailed” by the Russians, Yates testified.
“To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians,” Yates continued. Read full story here