Sally Yates, the former acting United States attorney general who drew the ire of President Donald Trump for issuing instructions to the Department of Justice not to defend his first “travel ban” executive order, testified that she had two in-person meetings and one phone call with the White House Counsel to discuss concerns about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“We believed Gen. Flynn was compromised in regards to the Russians,” she said.
Yates said that not only was Flynn’s conduct “problematic in it of itself,” but that also both Vice President Mike Pence and the American people had been misled.
“To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians,” she said.
Not only did the FBI and Department of Justice know about the conduct, but “the Russians also knew about what Gen. Flynn had done” and that Flynn had misled Pence, Yates said. That created a “compromise situation,” in which the national security adviser could be “blackmailed.”
Yates is testifying today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, alongside former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election.
“Many of the topics of interest today concern classified information that I cannot address in this public setting, either directly or indirectly,” she said during her opening remarks.
During that time, her office was probing the relationship between Russian officials and then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
After Flynn’s forced resignation in February, it emerged that Yates privately brought concerns about the retired lieutenant general to the White House, informing the administration that Flynn may have misled officials about conversations…