Michael Flynn

Flynn Was Warned by Transition Officials

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn “was warned by senior members of then President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador weeks before the December call that led to Flynn’s forced resignation,” the Washington Post reports.

“Officials were so concerned that Flynn did not fully understand the motives of the Russian ambassador that the head of Trump’s national security council transition team asked Obama administration officials for a classified CIA profile of Kislyak… The document was delivered within days, officials said, but it is not clear that Flynn ever read it.”

“The previously undisclosed sequence reveals the extent to which even some Trump insiders were troubled by the still-forming administration’s entanglements with Russia and enthusiasm for a friendly relationship with the Kremlin.”

Yates Warned White House About Flynn

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates “is prepared to testify before a Senate panel next week that she gave a forceful warning to the White House regarding then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn nearly three weeks before he was fired, contradicting the administration’s version of events,” CNN reports.

“In a private meeting January 26, Yates told White House Counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was lying when he denied in public and private that he had discussed US sanctions on Russia in conversations with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak. Flynn’s misleading comments, Yates said, made him potentially vulnerable to being compromised by Russia.”

Trump Says Flynn Was Vetted by Obama

President Donald Trump shifted blame for the vetting of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn onto the Obama administration, Politico reports.

Said Trump: “When he came into our administration, for a short period of time — he came in — he was already approved by the Obama administration, and he had years left on that approval.”

He added: “Now, if somebody’s approved at the absolute highest level by the Obama or a previous administration, I mean, does anybody ever ask about them?”

Flynn Was Warned About Foreign Payments

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn received an explicit warning against accepting payments from foreign nations upon his retirement from the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, CNN reports.

The House Oversight Committee said earlier this week that there was no evidence that Flynn disclosed payments for his foreign lobbying.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports the Pentagon’s internal watchdog has opened an investigation into whether Flynn violated the law.

Flynn Likely Broke the Law

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn likely broke the law by failing to disclose foreign income he earned from Russia and Turkey, the Washington Post reports.

House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) “said they believe Flynn neither received permission nor fully disclosed income he earned for a speaking engagement in Russia and lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey when he applied to reinstate his security clearance, after viewing two classified memos and Flynn’s disclosure form in a private briefing Tuesday morning.”

Said Chaffetz: “As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate, and there are repercussions for a violation of law.”

Meanwhile, CNN reports the White House declined to provide documents that the panel investigating Michael Flynn had requested.

Graham Says Flynn Asking for Immunity Is ‘Bizarre’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “expressed concern about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s requests for immunity from prosecution over ongoing investigations into whether members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had inappropriate contacts with Russian officials,” Politico reports.

Said Graham: “The whole situation with Gen. Flynn is a bit bizarre. He’s said in the past nobody asks for immunity unless they have committed a crime. I’m not so sure that’s true — as a lawyer I know that always that is not true. But the whole situation is really strange.”

Did Michael Flynn Do Something Illegal?

Ryan Lizza talked to a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee:

I asked the Republican congressman if he believed that Flynn did anything illegal in the phone call, in which Flynn discussed actions taken the same day by the Obama Administration. A rarely enforced eighteenth-century law known as the Logan Act makes it illegal to “influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government” or “defeat the measures of the United States” in disputes with an adversary. “That’s open to question,” the Republican congressman told me.

The Hill: 5 questions investigators want to ask Micheal Flynn.

Flynn’s Immunity Request Denied by Senate Committee

The Senate Intelligence Committee turned down the request by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer for a grant of immunity in exchange for his testimony, two congressional sources told NBC News.

A senior congressional official with direct knowledge said Flynn’s lawyer was told it was “wildly preliminary” and that immunity was “not on the table” at the moment. A second source said the committee communicated that it is “not receptive” to Flynn’s request “at this time.”

Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity

“Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“As an adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, and later one of Mr. Trump’s top aides in the White House, Mr. Flynn was privy to some of the most sensitive foreign policy deliberations of the new administration and was directly involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.”

Flynn Never Signed Ethics Pledge on Lobbying

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn “did not sign an ethics pledge ostensibly required of all Trump administration appointees barring them from ethically questionable lobbying activities,” the Daily Beast reports.

“The pledge, imposed by executive order a week after President Donald Trump took office, bars all federal appointees from lobbying their former colleagues for five years after leaving the administration and bans them from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments for life.”

What Other Surprises Did Flynn Leave Behind?

Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe: “Michael Flynn is gone from the Trump administration, but he’s not forgotten – and with good reason. The disclosure that Flynn was paid more than half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the government of Turkey – work he performed in the run-up and immediate aftermath of the election – is a stunner.”

“As his ties to Russian officials continue to be scrutinized, what other foreign lobbying work was he being paid for – directly or indirectly – as he was about to be tapped to serve as President Trump’s national security adviser? Did he disclose any such contracts to the president’s team when his name was under public and private consideration? Moreover, Vice President Mike Pence’s icy response – ‘It is an affirmation of the president’s decision to ask Gen. Flynn to resign,’ he told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Thursday – raises questions about what other aspects of Flynn’s behavior led to his dismissal. Recall that, after he asked him to go for misleading Pence about his contacts with Russia, the president himself called Flynn a ‘wonderful man’ who was treated unfairly by ‘the fake media.'”