Former acting US Attorney General Sally Yates testified [materials] before a Senate judiciary subcommittee on Monday stating that she had warned about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s vulnerabilities to blackmail by Russia less than a week after President Donald Trump [official profile] assumed office. Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to US was a primary focus of the Yates’s testimony. Flynn had denied discussing with Kislyak the subject of US sanctions on Russia for the November election interference, but high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials had recorded conversations between Kislyak and Flynn. Yates stated that she has no way of knowing “what, if anything” was done about the matter, and that “If nothing was done, then certainly that would be concerning.” This development comes after former president Barrack Obama [official website] said he had warned Trump not to hire Flynn [NYT report]. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer minimized the warnings saying that “If President Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn, why didn’t they suspend his security clearance, which they approved just months earlier?”
In late March Flynn requested immunity [JURIST report] in exchange for his potential testimony on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, according to a letter [text, PDF] sent from his attorney, Robert Kelner. Allegations of Russian connections have been a problem for the Trump administration in the early stages of his presidency. The previous week, FBI Director James Comey confirmed [JURIST report] that the FBI is investigating allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 US presidential election. Earlier the same month US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official website] recused himself [JURIST report] from probes into Russian interference after it was revealed that he had met with Russian officials [JURIST reports] during the campaign. In January a group of US Senators introduced legislation seeking to make mandatory sanctions enacted [JURIST reports] in December by then-president Barack Obama.