For months, Donald Trump and his fellow right-wing extremists have adamantly insisted that Flynn is innocent, the victim of a partisan witch hunt who would ultimately be exonerated and expose the entire Russia investigatory apparatus as a fraud. Flynn’s own lawyers argued as much in their sentencing memo, suggesting that the FBI acted inappropriately in failing to adequately disclose that lying to federal agents was a crime. As recently as Tuesday morning, bloviators on Fox News were convinced that Judge Sullivan would use his judicial discretion and toss out the entire case.
A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.
According to Trump’s own tweet, he would have known Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, assuring him Flynn had done nothing wrong. On Twitter, Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice official, echoes that Trump’s new version of events indicates an effort to obstruct Comey’s investigation.
Mr. Flynn, who appeared in federal court in Washington, acknowledged that he was cooperating with the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His plea agreement suggests that Mr. Flynn provided information to prosecutors, which may help advance the inquiry.
Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, are said to have terminated an information-sharing agreement with the president’s legal team. Defense lawyers frequently share information during investigations, but they must stop when doing so would pose a conflict of interest. It is unethical for lawyers to work together when one client is cooperating with prosecutors and another is still under investigation.
Back in June, a tantalizing set of reports from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal gave us one indication that collusion may have occurred, or was at least attempted, between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’ emails.
Peter W. Smith, a Republican political activist and financier from Chicago who mounted an effort to obtain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, died on May 14 after asphyxiating himself in a hotel room in Rochester, Minn. Mr. Smith’s attempts to obtain what he believed would be politically damaging emails marked the first potential evidence of coordination between members of the Trump campaign and Russian hackers, a central issue in probes by Congress and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The Wall Street Journal published twoexplosive reports detailing the actions of Republican operative Peter W. Smith during last year’s presidential election. According to the WSJ, Smith was seeking to acquire stolen Hillary Clinton emails from Russian hackers. Smith told associates that he discussed his activities with a key member of the Trump campaign, Michael Flynn. Smith was a longtime supporter and confidant to Newt Gingrich, a key member of the Trump campaign. Smith died about 10 days after talking to the Wall Street Journal reporter Shane Harris. While there is no evidence of foul play, and Smith was 81 years old, the cause of his death is unknown and not discussed in his obituary.
A tantalizing new report from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal gives the strongest indication yet that collusion may have occurred — or was at least attempted — between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’ emails. And it raises serious questions about whether fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was involved in these efforts to contact hackers.
Evidence is emerging that the hacking and disinformation campaign waged at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin took at least four separate but related paths. The first involved establishing personal contact with Americans perceived as sympathetic to Moscow — such as former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and early Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page — and using them as a means to further Russia's foreign-policy goals.
Senior officials across the government became convinced in January that the incoming national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had become vulnerable to Russian blackmail. At the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — agencies responsible for keeping American secrets safe from foreign spies — career officials agreed that Mr. Flynn represented an urgent problem. Yet nearly every day for three weeks, the new C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, sat in the Oval Office and briefed President Trump on the nation’s most sensitive intelligence — with Mr. Flynn listening.
“When he tells you to do something, guess what? There's no ambiguity in it, there's no, 'Hey, I'm hoping,'“ 39-year-0ld Mr Trump said. - “You and I are friends: 'Hey, I hope this happens, but you've got to do your job.' That's what he told Comey. - “And for this guy [Comey] as a politician to then go back and write a memo: 'Oh, I felt threatened.' He felt so threatened — but he [President Trump] didn't do anything.”
In his statement, Comey makes it clear that Trump was seeking to put pressure on him. “My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship,” Comey said. “That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.”
The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president. Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.
While the latest Comey allegations have forced reluctant Republican leaders to initiate some oversight of Trump, and at least two GOP lawmakers have raised the possibility of impeachment, most members are standing by their man. Here are the some of the arguments GOP members made to reporters as to why Trump’s pressure on Comey to let Flynn off the hook does not constitute an obstruction of justice.
Ms. Yates, the former acting attorney general, gave a dramatic account of an unfolding crisis in the early days of President Trump’s White House. Less than a week into the Trump administration, Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, hurried to the White House with an urgent concern. The president’s national security adviser, she said, had lied to the vice president about his Russian contacts and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators with some of the documents they're requesting as part of an investigation into potential Trump campaign connections to Russia, and whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn disclosed payments from Russian companies when applying for his security clearance. The news comes as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Flynn might have broken the law by failing to disclose the foreign payments on official documents filed as part of the security clearance review process.
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the FBI and congressional committees 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, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
Amid a series of controversies around Russia-US links, the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has vowed to take action, but has ended up investigating freedom of the press instead. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the committee, proudly tweeted on Friday that his team was "taking the lead" on Russia intelligence, as well as the "mishandling of classified material" and issues surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
On a spring morning in 2016, the retired four-star general Mattis, who was forced out of his job by then-President Barack Obama, spoke before defence and foreign policy experts gathered just blocks from the White House. The 65-year old speaker, with silver hair and puffy eyes, was blunt. For all the dangers al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) pose in the Middle East, he warned that the Iranian regime "is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace". He recalled that as commander of US troops in the Middle East, the first three questions he would ask his subordinates every morning "had to do with Iran and Iran and Iran". Nine months later, James Norman Mattis returned to the US capital as defence secretary of President Donald Trump.
hese are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks.
National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.