Bloomberg reports: Eighteen days.
That’s how much time passed from acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s warning to the White House that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence about contacts with Russian officials to the administration’s decision to fire him.
The White House will be under increasing pressure to explain what it did during that period after Yates’ Senate testimony on Monday, her highest-profile appearance since President Donald Trump fired her Jan. 30 for refusing to enforce his initial travel ban. Her revelations come as FBI and multiple congressional committees intensify their scrutiny of Russia’s meddling in last year’s election and any possible connections to Trump aides or associates.
Yates, an Obama administration holdover, said she reached out to White House Counsel Donald McGahn in late January after noting discrepancies between classified intelligence reports on Flynn’s behavior and Pence’s descriptions of what the national security adviser told him.
In two White House meetings on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27, Yates said she told McGahn that the classified information suggested that Flynn was potentially subject to blackmail because the Russians would know he had misled Pence.
“We felt it was critical we get this information to the White House,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in a hearing alongside former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians. To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.” [Continue reading…]