Former Obama-era acting Attorney General Sally Yates will testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. She is expected to address the departure of the Trump Administration’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned after less than a month on the job.
In late January, according to numerous reports, Ms. Yates warned the Trump White House that Mr. Flynn was lying about his communications with Russian officials, particularly Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. She also said that she believed the then national security advisor had discussed sensitive issues related to U.S. economic sanctions against Russia and could be blackmailed by Russian intelligence.
On February 13, the former Lt. General stepped down following widespread reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Mr. Kislyak.
A source familiar with the situation has said Monday’s testimony by Ms. Yates could be curtailed by the nature of the case’s classified details. Observers from all sides of the political spectrum are watching anyway to see what she does reveal.
Apr. 30, 2014: Mr. Flynn announces his retirement, roughly a year earlier than scheduled, from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Reports differ as to why he was essentially pushed out of DIA by the Obama administration. According to pro-Obama staffers, he regularly clashed with superiors and was a chaotic manager. According to Mr. Flynn, the administration was underplaying the threat of Islamic terrorism overplaying a public narrative that “Al Qaeda was close to defeat.”
Dec. 10, 2015: Mr. Flynn engages in a trip to Moscow to participate in a gala anniversary celebration of Russia Today — commonly referred to as a Kremlin propaganda mouthpiece. He receives $33,750 for a 60-minute presentation at the gala from his Washington-DC based talent agency.
Feb. 2016: Reports emerge that Mr. Flynn is serving as an advisor to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. At the time Mr. Trump is emerging as the front-runner in his battle for the Republican presidential nomination with Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Macro Rubio, former Governor John Kasich and others.
Jul. 18, 2016: Mr. Flynn delivers what observers call a “fiery” Trump endorsement speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He says that the world has no respect for America’s word, “nor does it fear our might.” He then leads the crowd in a “Lock her up!” chant — referring to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Jul. 22 and Oct. 7: WikiLeaks releases emails hacked from Democratic National Committee, reportedly by Russian cyber terrorists, then publishes emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Nov. 8: America elects Mr. Trump as its 45th president.
Jan. 13, 2017: Answering reporters in a conference call, transition spokesman Sean Spicer says Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak spoke by phone to discuss setting up a post-inauguration call between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Jan. 26: Ms. Yates talks to White House counsel Don McGahn about Mr. Flynn. She says that the national security advisor has lied about the details of his calls with Kislyak and that he could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
Feb. 11 and 12: Mr. Trump travels to his Florida retreat, Mar-a-Lago, to meet with the Japanese prime minister. Photos show Mr. Flynn nearby Mr. Trump when news breaks of a North Korean missile launch.
Feb. 13: White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says Mr. Trump has full confidence in Flynn. Later in the day the Washington Post reports on Ms. Yates‘ warning about Mr. Flynn to the White House. By the end of the day, Mr. Flynn resigns. The next day Ms. Conway says it was Mr. Flynn’s decision, while Mr. Spicer says Mr. Trump asked for the resignation.
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