Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Intel Officials Knew Flynn Vulnerable To Blackmail But Still Shared Sensitive Info With Him
Senior officials at the FBI, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Justice knew as early as January that former national security adviser Michael Flynn could have been vulnerable to Russian blackmail, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Despite officials' knowledge of the risks associated with Flynn, The Times said, he continued to sit in on meetings during which President Donald Trump was briefed on sensitive intelligence.
It is unclear whether CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who The Times said briefed Trump on intelligence while Flynn sat nearby, was aware of officials' concerns about Flynn.
When lawmakers asked Pompeo during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing whether he was privy to concerns regarding Flynn, Pompeo did not answer. "I can't answer yes or no," Pompeo said. "I regret that I'm unable to do so." One administration official told The Times that Pompeo did not relay any doubts surrounding Flynn to Trump.
Flynn has been a central character in congressional and FBI investigations into Russian interference during the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign played a role. He was forced to resign as national security adviser in February, with the White House saying he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about contacts he had with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
After his resignation, it emerged that Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, had warned the White House on January 26 that Flynn could be subject to blackmail from the Russians because US intelligence agencies knew Pence had publicly mischaracterized interactions Flynn had with Kislyak. Flynn did not resign until February 13, which was 18 days after Yates informed the Trump administration of her concerns.
Later, it was reported that Flynn had informed the Trump transition team in early January that he was under FBI investigation for failing to register as a foreign lobbyist when he provided services to the Turkish government. He had relayed the information to Don McGahn, a member of the transition team who now serves as White House counsel. Yates, too, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had informed McGahn first about concerns that Flynn could be compromised.
Yates said that in response to her concerns, McGahn asked her during a meeting the next day, "Why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another White House official?"
Following Flynn's resignation, a slew of media reports raised further questions about whether he had violated the law. His lawyer, Robert Kelner, said Flynn was willing to testify before FBI and congressional investigators in the ongoing Russia investigations in exchange for immunity. Lawmakers have not taken him up on that proposal.
Last month, Flynn was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee and asked to turn over documents related to his contacts with Russian officials. Flynn's lawyer said his client intended to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoenas, but a person close to Flynn later said the former national security adviser would cooperate with the demands. In early June, Flynn turned over 600 pages of documents to the Senate intelligence panel.
Flynn and his lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, were also subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee.
More from Business Insider:
- Jeff Sessions hired a lawyer to represent him during the Russia probe
- The Obamas just shelled out $8.1 million for the DC mansion they've been renting since leaving the White House
- Trump tweets about China's failure to rein in North Korea as a possible nuclear test looms
- Here's how the police officer who shot Philando Castile described the shooting
- 4 common misconceptions about how drugs get to the US through Mexico and Central America
In his sanctions announcement, Trump accidentally named the wrong supreme leader of Iran, who has been dead since 1989
Exclusive: Video shows Navy SEAL flying drone over body of ISIS fighter shortly after Eddie Gallagher allegedly stabbed him
Shortly after Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher allegedly murdered a wounded ISIS prisoner, about half a dozen of his SEAL teammates watched as one SEAL flew a drone around their compound and hovered it just inches over the dead man's body.
It was yet another ethical lapse for the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, many of whom had just taken a group photograph with the deceased victim after their commander had held an impromptu reenlistment ceremony for Gallagher near the body. Although some expressed remorse in courtroom testimony over their participation in the photo, video footage from later that morning showed a number of SEALs acted with little regard for the remains of Gallagher's alleged victim.
The video — which was shown to the jury and courtroom spectators last week in the trial of Gallagher — was recently obtained by Task & Purpose.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Packages containing suspected heroin were found in the home of the driver charged with killing seven motorcyclists Friday in the North Country, authorities said Monday.
Massachusetts State Police said the packages were discovered when its Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Hampshire State police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his West Springfield home. The packages will be tested for heroin, they said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the North Country crash on Friday evening that killed seven riders associated with Jarhead Motorcycle Club, a club for Marines and select Navy corpsmen.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.