New questions about James Comey’s role in Flynnghazi
It was a busy night for WaPo‘s Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Philip Rucker, who had to update their blockbuster, revelatory story detailing how then-acting attorney general Sally Yates warned Trump and his senior staff that Michael Flynn might be susceptible to blackmail when Flynn resigned.
Toward the tail end of the article, a familiar name crops up:
The internal debate over how to handle the intelligence on Flynn and [Russian ambassador] Kislyak came to a head on Jan. 19, Obama’s last full day in office.
Yates, [then-Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper and [then-CIA Director John] Brennan argued for briefing the incoming administration so the new president could decide how to deal with the matter. The officials discussed options, including telling Pence, the incoming White House counsel, the incoming chief of staff or Trump himself.
FBI Director James B. Comey initially opposed notification, citing concerns that it could complicate the agency’s investigation.
Clapper and Brennan left their positions when Trump was sworn in, but Yates stayed on as acting attorney general until Jan. 30, when Trump fired her for refusing to defend his executive order temporarily barring refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries — an action that had been challenged in court.
A turning point came after Jan. 23, when Spicer, in his first official media briefing, again was asked about Flynn’s communications with Kislyak. Spicer said that he had talked to Flynn about the issue “again last night.” There was just “one call,” Spicer said. And it covered four subjects: a plane crash that claimed the lives of a Russian military choir; Christmas greetings; Russian-led talks over the Syrian civil war; and the logistics of setting up a call between Putin and Trump. Spicer said that was the extent of the conversation.
Yates again raised the issue with Comey, who now backed away from his opposition to informing the White House. Yates and the senior career national security official spoke to McGahn, the White House counsel, who didn’t respond Monday to a request for comment.
Comey was instrumental in rat-screwing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – and it’s pretty certain, given comments he made to FOX News Channel in October, that former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani was also neck-deep in that mess – along with another powerful ex-FBI palyer, James Kallstrom.
What did they know – and when did they know it?
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