Senate Committee subpoenas Michael Flynn in Russia investigation

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

"We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians", Yates told the hearing in her first public comments on the scandal over ties between Trump's team and Russia that has dogged the opening months of his presidency. Pressed on his portrayal of this long-standing Justice Department official, Spicer said, "Appointed by the Obama administration and a strong supporter of Clinton". Yates noted that she's not at DOJ anymore, "so I don't know what's been referred".

But they did cast new doubt on Trump's judgment in choosing Flynn, a controversial Washington figure, for such a crucial job in the first place - on a day when it emerged that outgoing President Barack Obama counseled him to pick another national security adviser.

But if Yates' break with Trump on the executive order was merely a disagreement over a "policy decision" rather than whether the policy was lawful, as Cruz posited, why did federal courts keep blocking it, and why did Trump withdraw it instead of seeking to defend it in the courts?

He reiterated that it was Flynn's misleading of Vice President Mike Pence about the topics of his conversations, not Yates' warnings, that led to his firing. That's because the White House wanted to make sure "we were doing the right thing".

What was his role at the White House in those 18 days?

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Needless to say, Spicer didn't disappoint.

I think a objective of Republicans' questioning Yates about the order was to defend the White House from the conclusion that it recklessly ignored Yates' guidance about Flynn.

The subpoena was announced a day after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the bureau's investigation of Russian Federation and the election. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Clapper yesterday if he ever found a situation where a Trump business interest in Russian Federation gave him concern, Clapper replied, "Not in the course of the preparation of [last winter's] intelligence community assessment".

On Monday, Washington political theater was in full force, and the stars were Texas Sens. Yates testified Monday she learned of the travel ban by reading about it in the news media. "No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution". From there, she worked her way up to deputy attorney general at the Justice Department led by Loretta Lynch.

Speaking in a familiar refrain, Sanders bemoaned the United States' relatively low voter turnout rates and said it was a boon for conservative politicians.

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