Former acting AG Yates claims she warned WH about Flynn's Russia ties

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates told a Senate Committee that she warned the White House back in January that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was compromised and may have left himself open to Russian blackmail.

Reuters:

Yates testified at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that focused primarily on Flynn, and did not shed much light on other aspects of investigations of allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Yates repeatedly declined to discuss details of the investigation in a public forum. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who also testified, said he stood by past assertions that he had not seen evidence of such collusion but also declined to comment on classified matters.

Yates briefly led the U.S. Justice Department until Trump fired her on Jan. 30 for declining to defend his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. She told White House counsel Don McGahn on Jan. 26, less than a week into Trump's presidency, that Flynn had not been telling the truth about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington.

Making her first public statements about the issue, Yates said she feared Moscow could try to blackmail Flynn because it also knew he had not been truthful about conversations he had with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Flynn, a retired general once seen as a potential Trump vice president, has emerged as a central figure in the Russian probes. Russia has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election and the Trump administration denies allegations of collusion with Russia.

Yates told the hearing she had been concerned that "the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians."

"Logic would tell you that you don't want the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians have leverage over him," she said.

Trump, who continued to praise Flynn, waited 18 days after Yates' warning before Flynn's forced resignation for failing to disclose the content of his talks with Kislyak and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

That "leverage" the Russians supposedly had on Flynn was a stretch all along.  The Russians knew that Flynn "lied"?  And this exposed Flynn to "blackmail"?  The news came out anyway, thus making the idea that Flynn could have been leveraged ridiculous.

The real news is that neither Yates nor Clapper had any direct proof of Russia-Trump campaign collusion.  This isn't surprising, considering that there has never been any evidence from anyone – including the FBI – that there was any.  The only "evidence" so far has been talking points by Democrats, faithfully repeated in the media, that hint at dark doings in the Trump campaign without any specificity or proof.

The Yates testimony – much anticipated by the media and Democrats – turned out to be a dud.  And another nail in the coffin was added to the false narrative of the Trump campaign being in bed with the Russians to swing the election.

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates told a Senate Committee that she warned the White House back in January that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was compromised and may have left himself open to Russian blackmail.

Reuters:

Yates testified at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that focused primarily on Flynn, and did not shed much light on other aspects of investigations of allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Yates repeatedly declined to discuss details of the investigation in a public forum. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who also testified, said he stood by past assertions that he had not seen evidence of such collusion but also declined to comment on classified matters.

Yates briefly led the U.S. Justice Department until Trump fired her on Jan. 30 for declining to defend his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. She told White House counsel Don McGahn on Jan. 26, less than a week into Trump's presidency, that Flynn had not been telling the truth about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington.

Making her first public statements about the issue, Yates said she feared Moscow could try to blackmail Flynn because it also knew he had not been truthful about conversations he had with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Flynn, a retired general once seen as a potential Trump vice president, has emerged as a central figure in the Russian probes. Russia has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election and the Trump administration denies allegations of collusion with Russia.

Yates told the hearing she had been concerned that "the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians."

"Logic would tell you that you don't want the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians have leverage over him," she said.

Trump, who continued to praise Flynn, waited 18 days after Yates' warning before Flynn's forced resignation for failing to disclose the content of his talks with Kislyak and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

That "leverage" the Russians supposedly had on Flynn was a stretch all along.  The Russians knew that Flynn "lied"?  And this exposed Flynn to "blackmail"?  The news came out anyway, thus making the idea that Flynn could have been leveraged ridiculous.

The real news is that neither Yates nor Clapper had any direct proof of Russia-Trump campaign collusion.  This isn't surprising, considering that there has never been any evidence from anyone – including the FBI – that there was any.  The only "evidence" so far has been talking points by Democrats, faithfully repeated in the media, that hint at dark doings in the Trump campaign without any specificity or proof.

The Yates testimony – much anticipated by the media and Democrats – turned out to be a dud.  And another nail in the coffin was added to the false narrative of the Trump campaign being in bed with the Russians to swing the election.

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