Newly released documents from the Department of Justice show President Obama informed former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates of a phone call between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016. He did so in the Oval Office.
"Yates first learned of the December 2016 calls between [LTG Michael] Flynn and [Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey] Kislyak on January 5, 2017, while in the Oval Office. Yates, along with then FBI-Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, were at the White House to brief members of the Obama Administration on the classified Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities in Recent U.S Elections. President Obama was joined by his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and others from the National Security Council," the document states.
"After the briefing, Obama dismissed the group but asked Yates and Comey to stay behind. Obama started by saying he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions. Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information. At that point, Yates had no idea what the President was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can't recall if he specified there was an 'investigation,'" it continues.
That phone call became part of the FBI's justification to interview Flynn on January 24, 2017. Ahead of that meeting, notes show agents planned to get Flynn to lie in order to pursue criminal prosecution or get him fired.
According to a memo Rice wrote to herself on January 20, 2017, her last day on the job, she and Vice President Joe Biden were in the room when Obama delivered the news to Yates.
President Obama and his intelligence officials, like Rice, Brennan and Clapper, have denied being involved in a malicious pursuit against General Flynn. Documents show that is far from the case.
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