Ever since Donald Trump fired former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates for daring to tell the Justice Department not to enforce Trump’s Muslim ban, she’s been a specter of doom in the whole smorgasbord Trump-Russian ties. As of last week, she was scheduled to testify (on May 8) as part of the Senate’s ongoing investigation on the matter, and CNN now reports that she’s going to make the situation worse for both the Trump administration and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Yates is expected to directly contradict the White House’s version of when Trump knew about Flynn’s vulnerability to Russian blackmail, which also ties back into the vetting process — because Sean Spicer made it an issue. Spicer recently blamed Obama for Flynn’s re-upped security clearance, and Spicey painted the portrait of ultimate trust between administrations. Since Flynn had clearance (and Spicer said it was renewed in 2016), then Spicer thinks Trump shouldn’t have been expected to look into those sketchy Moscow speeches or Turkish lobbying, etc. This was yet another attempt to distance Flynn from all things Trump, but Yates will likely kill those claims, too.
Yates will reportedly tell the Senate that she strenuously warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s lies regarding his talks with the Russian ambassador. And she did so weeks before Trump finally fired Flynn. Here are the details from CNN:
Sally Yates is prepared to testify before a Senate panel next week that she gave a forceful warning to the White House regarding then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn nearly three weeks before he was fired, contradicting the administration’s version of events, sources familiar with her account tell CNN.
In a private meeting January 26, Yates told White House Counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was lying when he denied in public and private that he had discussed US sanctions on Russia in conversations with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak. Flynn’s misleading comments, Yates said, made him potentially vulnerable to being compromised by Russia, according to sources familiar with her version of events. She expressed “serious concerns” to McGahn, making it clear — without making a recommendation — that Flynn could be fired.
Yates has yet to confirm this report from sources close to her, but it seems certain that she’ll testify to the fullest of her abilities. The White House has already tried to bar her testimony, but her attorney, David O’Neill, has maintained that she’s committed to testify although she cannot reveal any classified information.