Newly-released documents from January 2017 show outgoing President Barack Obama was intimately familiar with phone calls between Gen. Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The government reportedly intercepted the calls Flynn made as a part of its routine surveillance on Russian officials and agents in the United States.
Obama brought up the intercepted call in a classified White House meeting on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The president’s detailed level of knowledge caught then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates by surprise. By that time, top FBI officials had reviewed those communications and hadn’t found evidence of criminality or improper behavior. (RELATED: Pelosi Caught Trying to Scam Trump)
Yet it appeared Obama, who fired Flynn three years before, had an ax to grind.
Townhall’s Katie Pavlich has more:
“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.
The Justice Department declassified these documents yesterday after dropping its case against Flynn.
The next question for us inevitably becomes whether or not officials will be held responsible for their prosecution of Flynn, a reality Attorney General William Barr is well aware of.