Here’s What Fired DOJ Official Plans To Tell Congress About Michael Flynn
A top Justice Department official who was fired by President Trump plans to tell a Senate committee next week that she gave the White House a strong warning about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
According to the Associated Press, former acting attorney general Sally Yates will tell the committee during the May 8 hearing that on Jan. 26, she told White House general counsel Donald McGahn that there were discrepancies in Flynn’s claims about phone calls he had in December with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
The AP’s sources also said that Yates plans to testify that she warned that the discrepancies left Flynn, a retired lieutenant-general, open to blackmail.
Yates’ testimony will conflict with the White House’s version of events, the AP’s sources said. On Feb. 14, a day after Flynn was fired, White House press secretary Sean Spicer portrayed Yates’ discussion with McGahn as a “heads up.”
“So just to be clear, the acting attorney general informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give a ‘heads up’ to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the Vice President out in particular,” Spicer said.
Trump fired Yates on Jan. 31 after she refused to comply with his executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Flynn was fired on Feb. 13, reportedly because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak.
Flynn spoke with Kislyak just after the Obama administration imposed a new round of sanctions against Russia for meddling in the presidential campaign. The Trump transition team at the time downplayed the story and denied that Flynn discussed sanctions.
A separate debate has emerged over how details of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak — which are classified — were made public. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius first reported the phone calls in January.
Flynn reportedly denied to Pence as well as to the FBI that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia during the phone calls. Pence said during multiple interviews that Flynn did not discuss the sanctions.But transcripts of Flynn’s intercepted phone calls with the Kremlin diplomat apparently told a different story.