Senate intel panel subpoenas Michael Flynn documents

Owen Stevens
May 12, 2017

There was an 18-day gap between the heads up from former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates regarding Flynn's activities with the Russians and his removal by the White House.

"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", Yates said.

Spicer further labeled Yates an "Obama appointee", up for a top position if Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in the presidential election, strongly hinting that her two visits to the White House were politically motivated.

Flynn has been at the center of speculation by Democrats and Trump detractors since he admitted lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his meeting with a Russian ambassador before the election.

It had the makings of a Cold War whodunit: The attorney general tells the White House that the Russians have "kompromat" on the president's national security adviser - but the president, for reasons unclear, stands by the compromised official.

Trump shouldered into the conversation 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.

Pence's errant remarks prompted Yates to contact White House counsel Donald McGahn.

Before assuming office, Mr. Flynn discussed with the Russian ambassador in Washington the possibility of relaxing US sanctions, according to leaked media reports of intelligence intercepts, but there is no official version of what transpired in those conversations. What President Trump needs is someone to calm him down, not someone to accelerate him.

"We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible..." James Clapper, director of national intelligence under Obama, also testified Monday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer made this argument on Tuesday, saying Yates is "someone who is not exactly a supporter of the president's agenda" as part of his explanation of why the White House did not act immediately on Yates' warning about Flynn.

But it now appears that Taylor will have the last laugh, because according to a CNN exclusive report Tuesday, the United States Attorney's Office in Arlington, Virginia, has now handed out grand jury subpoenas in the Trump Russia investigation.

He said Trump "made, ultimately, the right decision" to fire Flynn in mid-February after a thorough review.

Michael Flynn was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into links between Russian Federation and Mr Trump's campaign team.

Flynn's Russian Federation ties are also being scrutinized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it investigates whether Trump's campaign was involved in Russia's election interference. Much of what Yates said was previously known, but her testimony offered a dramatic firsthand account of a quickly unfolding scandal at the highest level of government.

Jonathan Landay, national security correspondent for Reuters.

Though some Republicans on the panel engaged in such diversions, the subcommittee chairman, Lindsey Graham, rose above partisanship.

Other reports by VgToday

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