Senate Panel Investigates Russian Interference

Olive Rios
Мая 23, 2017

Yates, appearing before a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the election, described discussions with Don McGahn, the Trump White House counsel, in which she warned that Flynn apparently had misled the administration about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. She was joined in the meeting by a senior career official in the Justice Department.

"That created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians", said Yates.

Yates was speaking at a hearing led by Sen. She said she was not. She met with McGahn on January 26 and delivered a warning. Flynn's identity to her, and who leaked that identity to the media? Neither Flynn nor Trump were directly referenced in her opening statement. It's not clear when this one will end or whether anything criminal will be found, though Comey has said the investigation is being done with an eye on whether any laws were broken.

Graham asked Yates whether she had any information about whether there was collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel", he added.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is one of several bodies in Congress probing Russian interference. Both former official said they did not know how that happened. In several responses, Spicer painted Yates, also fired by Trump, as an enemy of the president who was made deputy attorney general by Barack Obama.

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had insisted that Flynn had not discussed USA -imposed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential transition period.

A White House official later told CNN that the administration plans to rebut Yates by employing two strategies: calling into question her objectivity by arguing she is a partisan Democrat and questioning the time-line of events she is expected to present.

Senate lawmakers also asked Yates and Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper if they had ever reviewed classified documents in which names of Trump's associates were unmasked.

Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to court documents from a 2015 prosecution alleging a Cold War-style spy ring in NY.

She said she had briefed the Trump White House so that they could take "the action that they deemed appropriate" and that she believed the Russians already had the same information about the calls.

The dual testimony by Ms Yates and Mr Clapper returned the spotlight to the simmering controversy over Russia's meddling in last year's United States election.

"They must be congratulating themselves for having exceeded their wildest expectations", he said. The president's national security adviser, she said, had lied to the vice-president about his Russian contacts and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

"I will be asking the question that is really on the minds of Americans", Democratic committee member Senator Richard Blumenthal said Monday ahead of the hearing.

Of the four former Trump campaign aides at the center of the Capitol Hill's Russian Federation probes - including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former foreign policy adviser Carter Page and former campaign adviser Roger Stone - Flynn has generated the most heat following a steady stream of revelations. Investigators knew that Flynn had, in fact, discussed sanctions. And the Yates claims were also an apt metaphor for the long and corrosive drama over Russian Federation. He was sacked, with the White House citing "an eroding level of trust".

Almost two weeks later, The Washington Post reported that Yates had expressed concerns to the White House about Flynn.

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