Yates says Obama, Biden didn't influence Flynn investigation
Trump has provided no evidence to support the claim, and Yates said under oath that Obama’s only interest in Flynn was to ensure that it was safe to share sensitive national security information with the incoming administration while the FBI was probing concerns that Flynn was attempting to undermine sanctions leveled by Obama in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“General Flynn had essentially neutered the U.S. government’s message of deterrence,” Yates said.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about those efforts, which he made during a series of phone calls, weeks before Trump’s inauguration, with Russia’s then-U.S. ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Transcripts of those calls show that Flynn urged Russia not to escalate in response to the Obama administration sanctions, and that Kislyak later told him Vladimir Putin refrained from retaliation because of his request.
Yates also rejected assertions that a discussion of a potential violation by Flynn of the Logan Act — a largely obsolete 18th-Century law intended to prevent private citizens from interfering in foreign policy — was a central focus of the FBI’s reason for pursuing its Flynn investigation. Rather, she said, Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak and subsequent lies about those calls both publicly and to FBI agents investigating Russia’s efforts, were an obvious counterintelligence risk.
The Logan Act, she said “wasn’t our primary concern,” she said. “It was a counterintelligence concern.”
Yates’ appearance before the Judiciary Committee, part of Chairman Lindsey Graham’s investigation into the ...
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