Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Former top USA justice official to testify on Flynn-Russia links

Washington is still reeling this morning after hearing from the former Justice Department official who blew the whistle on President Trump's first National Security Advisor.

Her testimony, coupled with the revelation hours earlier that President Barack Obama himself had warned Donald Trump against hiring Flynn shortly after the November election, made clear that alarms about Flynn had reached the highest levels of the US government months before.

Pence first heard that Flynn misled him about his contact with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, according to White House officials, two full weeks after Yates first met with McGahn. "And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians". "We were giving them all this information so that they could take action".

"Quite frankly it is the height of irresponsibility that President Trump still denies Russia's act of cyber war against our election", Durbin wrote in the letter, seen by Reuters.

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he wants to examine fellow Republican President Donald Trump's business dealings for any ties to Russia, CNN reported on Tuesday, one day after the issue was raised at a Senate hearing.

Early on in the race for the Democratic nomination, Carter said he believed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton would get the nomination "because money dominates, and she has an inside track to the massive amounts that are going to pour into the Democratic Party side".

The revelation from Obama advisers appeared to be sparked by Trump's attempts to shift some of the blame for Flynn's troubles to Obama by noting that the previous administration renewed the former military intelligence director's clearance even after he was sacked in 2014. Trump made no mention of the fact that Flynn had been fired from his high position by the Obama administration in 2014.

Yates repeatedly declined to discuss details of the investigation in a public forum.

President Donald Trump fired Yates in January for refusing to defend his executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, so her testimony concerned that ban ― among other matters.

Pence said in January that Flynn denied those calls involved sanctions placed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration in response to its election meddling. Then she waited. And was eventually fired herself. James Clapper, director of national intelligence under Obama, also testified Monday.

During a speech Sunday night in Boston, he urged members of Congress to have "courage" as Trump presses for the repeal of his signature health care law, recalling the Democrats who were swept into office with him in 2009, but lost their seats after casting votes in favor of the "Obamacare" measure.

Yates confirmed reports that she had told the White House, six days into Trump's administration, that Flynn, a former military intelligence chief, had not been honest with Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to Washington, leaving him vulnerable to leverage from Moscow.

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