Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified today in an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said out loud what we already knew. On behalf of the Justice Department she warned the Trump transition team three times that Mike Flynn was compromised and could be blackmailed by Russia. He had been meeting with a known Russian spy, the Russian Ambassador to the United States. He had taken money from Russian State-sponsored TV station. Media reports show him receiving half-a-million dollars from Turkey (with recent reports suggesting that money may have come from Russia as well).
Yates told White House Counsel Don McGahn, that Flynn had been obviously lying to Vice-President Mike Flynn about his contacts with Russia. This was based on multiple statements by Pence to the public quoting Flynn which the Justice Department knew not to be true. McGahn called back the next day asking why the Justice Department cared about one White House official lying to another? He also asked if Flynn was the subject of a criminal investigation. Her answer to the first question was; they cared because Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail because they knew he was lying. She refused to answer whether there was an active criminal investigation against Flynn which was an answer in and of itself.
The White House to this point has denied specific knowledge of Flynn’s trouble and suggested Yates only hinted at potential problems. Yates testified under oath that she walked McGahn through Flynn’s “underlying conduct” which was “problematic.” There can be no doubt that on January 26th and 27th the White House knew that they had a serious problem with General Mike Flynn. For reasons yet to be discovered, the White House did nothing until the Washington Post released reports of Flynn’s lies and Donald Trump fired him three weeks after the public discovered what they’d long known.
We also learned today that in their meeting on November 11, 2016. President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump specifically about Mike Flynn. On November 18th, Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, head of the Trump transition, asking for information about Flynn’s lobbying work and conflicts of interest. Pence’s lies about knowing nothing won’t likely withstand the bright lights to come.
On some future occasion I’ll go into the Russian ties of Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, Jared Kushner, Rex Tillerson, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump himself according separately to his two eldest sons. Members of the Trump administration and family have met with Russian spies like Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and banker Sergey Gorkov. Those suspected as being traitors depend on ones definition of the word. Those that certainly put their own financial interests ahead of their country (which meets my definition) include Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. The lies about Russia have come from Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, very likely Mike Pence whose claim he knew nothing has never made sense and Trump himself.
When Sean Spicer takes the podium tomorrow at the daily White House Briefing. He will have to choose whether to speak honestly to the media and American people. Or continue the cover-up of Russian infiltration into this administration.
One thing to watch for. Observe the great lengths Republicans go to keep Mike Pence pure and untainted as the investigations roll on. Republican establishment powers might even be happy to see the erratic Trump go down if it meant replacing him with a more competent President on their same wavelength. A corrupt President can be replaced. What they can’t abide is a finding of collusion with a foreign power that might void the election itself. Stay tuned!