Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was axed by President Donald Trump for refusing to enforce his controversial immigration ban, testified Monday before a Senate judiciary subcommittee and said she informed the White House that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had been “compromised” and misled the vice president.
Yates was fired after serving just 10 days under Trump. Flynn was not fired, however, but resigned mid-February—more than two weeks after Yates conveyed her concerns about him to White House Counsel Don McGahn—saying he “inadvertently” gave “incomplete information” about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
Politico noted ahead of the hearing Monday that
Flynn had denied that he discussed easing recently-imposed sanctions with the Russian ambassador even though he had. Yates, who as acting attorney general was privy to the details of Flynn’s conversation, informed White House counsel Donald McGahn of the discrepancy in late January. Flynn was not fired though until those discrepancies were made public weeks later in media reports.
Yates said at the hearing it was clear “Gen. Flynn had misled the vice president,” and therefore the American people may have been misled about Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak.
She also said Flynn’s behavior was problematic and that she and her colleagues at the Justice Department “were concerned that the American people had been misled about the underlying conduct and what Gen. Flynn had done.”
And because Russia knew he had misled officials, it meant Flynn “could be blackmailed by the Russians,” Yates said.
Yates testified alongside James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, who, as CNN writes,
testified that he did not know about the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the election and whether there were any links to the Trump campaign until its existence was announced in a congressional hearing by FBI Director James Comey in March.
The hearing is ongoing. You can watch it live here.
Twitter users are capturing more of the comments from the hearings, which you can follow below: