Democratic Sen. Al Franken asked former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday why the Trump administration waited nearly three weeks to fire former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after Yates had warned the White House’s top lawyers that Flynn could be susceptible to blackmail by the Russians.
That assessment came after US intelligence agencies captured Flynn’s discussions of US economic sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, shortly before President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
During a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Franken pointed to others in the Trump administration who also revealed their contacts with Kislyak after it became clear that Flynn misled White House officials about his conversations with the ambassador.
Speaking to Trump’s decisions about Flynn, Franken said, “he didn’t get rid of a guy who lied to the vice president, who got paid by the Russians.” Franken called Flynn “a danger to this republic.”
Yates declined to comment on Franken’s characterization of the events. She told the Senate subcommittee that she had met with White House Counsel Donald McGahn on January 26 to inform him that statements Vice President Mike Pence had made insisting that Flynn did not discuss US sanctions with the Russian ambassador were false.
Watch the exchange below:
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