Michael Flynn subpoenaed for docs by Senate Intelligence Committee


Washington Post: Yates says she warned White House Flynn could be "blackmailed" - "Former acting attorney general Sally Yates said Monday she warned the top lawyer in the White House that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by Russian Federation, and gave the White House a private warning 'so that they could take action'".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday dismissed former acting Attorney General Sally Yates as President Trump's "political opponent".

"I believe they're now emboldened to continue such activities in the future, both here and around the world, and to do so even more intensely", he said.

Yates testified Monday before a Senate panel that she had delivered urgent messages to White House counsel Donald McGahn about Flynn as a potential blackmail target.

"Let's look at how this came down".

"We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible..."

He indicated Trump has not accepted her finding that Flynn may have been compromised, calling it "a little premature".

Collins brought up Flynn because, on Monday, Yates testified before a Senate subcommittee that she had warned the Trump White House about Flynn's conversation with the ambassador, which had been picked up by intelligence agencies while monitoring the ambassador.

Prior to Monday's hearing in the Senate, Trump on Twitter wrote: "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers after she explained it to W.H. Counsel". "You don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians".

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The committee also requested the White House documentation related to the Trump administration's vetting of Flynn but, so far, the White House has refused to release those documents.

Later in the same briefing, Spicer was asked whether the White House placed Flynn under any additional restrictions between Yates' warning and his eventual ouster.

The presence of her co-witness, Washington veteran and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, also had the effect of bolstering Yates' comments.

But if Trump's quick and dismissive reaction to her appearance is any guide, the Yates testimony put another dent in the administration's defenses.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned after reports that he misled Vice President Pence about a call between him and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Yates said Trump's travel ban, which targeted several Muslim-majority counties, was "unlawful", and added, "All arguments have to be based on truth". They had decided that Flynn's conduct - his repeated lying, his deepening secrecy, his shady finances - were a threat to America.

Yates interviewed Flynn, of course.

There were a number of questions about whether it was Yates' place to come forward about the issues with Flynn.