"Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that she first learned the FBI possessed and was investigating recordings of Flynn’s late 2016 conversations with a Russian envoy following a Jan. 5, 2017, national security meeting at the White House. It wasn't Comey who told her, but former President Barack Obama.
Yates, who was briefly the acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration before getting fired, also laid out how in the ensuing days, Comey kept the FBI's actions cloaked in secrecy and repeatedly rebuffed her suggestions that the incoming Trump team be made aware of the Flynn recordings.
These revelations appear in declassified FBI interview notes of the Mueller team’s conversation with Yates in August 2017, highlighted by the Justice Department on Thursday as U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea moved to drop its criminal charges against Flynn.
“One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates,” Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. “Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings … And, you know, Director Comey ran around that.”
Yates told Mueller’s team she first learned of the Flynn recordings following a White House meeting about the Intelligence Community Assessment attended by Yates, Comey, Vice President Joe Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-national security adviser Susan Rice, and others. Obama asked Yates and Comey to stay behind when the meeting concluded.
Obama “started by saying that he had ‘learned of the information about Flynn’ and his conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak," Yates said, according to the notes. “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.” washington examiner
Obama did not want any additional information on the matter? Careful CYA. From the account of this meeting it is clear that Obama and Biden knew that Comey was intent on pursuing Flynn. If that is so, then subsequent events indicate that Obama did not act to stop Comey, and since Comey was hiding his effort against Flynn from main Justice, it must be that someone on high was encouraging him. Now, who would that be? pl