The New York Times reported that the White House knew that president Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was under investigation before they hired him. The FBI was probing Flynn amid allegations that he had served as an undercover lobbyist on behalf of Turkey during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Flynn’s Legal Issues Known before His Appointment
However, despite all warnings, Trump’s transition team still offered the disgraced official the position. In his new role, Flynn had access to nearly all classified information held by the U.S. intelligence community.
According to several discussions between Flynn and Trump transition team’s lawyers, the nascent administration knew who they were hiring and his legal issues. Flynn had to step down 24 days after assuming office amid charges that he contacted the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.
The White House insisted on keeping him in the Cabinet even after transition Attorney General Sally Yates warned president Trump that Flynn could fall victim to Russian blackmail.
Even after Flynn resigned, the president tried to convince fired FBI Director James Comey to drop the federal investigation against the disgraced adviser. Some experts believe president Trump’s actions a day after Flynn’s departure could open the way to impeachment for obstruction of justice.
The Trump administration declined to comment on the Times’ recent bombshell revelations.
Retired General Flynn is one of the president’s associates caught in federal investigations because of alleged business links with foreign powers. These associates are also under scrutiny for allegedly lending the Russians helpful hand in swaying the 2016 election results.
Acting FBI chief Andrew G. McCabe recently confirmed that there is a federal investigation into Trump camp aides and the Russian government’s bid to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Flynn’s businesses in Northern Virginia are currently under scrutiny as an espionage prosecutor is probing his foreign lobbying. Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack has started issuing subpoenas to several of the former Trump loyalist’s business activity.
Flynn’s Businesses Subpoenaed
According to The Times, one of the subpoenas calls for the disclosure of all bank records, communications, research, records, and contacts of Flynn Intel Group, the company Flynn created after being ousted from the Defense Intelligence Agency three years ago.
A similar subpoena was issued on Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin who has close ties to the Turkey’s presidency. Sources did not confirm Alptekin was at the center of an ongoing investigation.
According to people familiar with the matter, Flynn sees the recent DOJ investigation as an attempt of keeping him sidelined. Flynn believes the investigation is the work of Obama administration and the former president’s loyalists.
Flynn underscored that the probe started shortly after Trump won the election when former president Obama voiced concerns about his appointment in Trump’s Cabinet. Obama was the one to fire the general as the head of the DIE in 2014.
Flynn noted that when Obama’s warning did not stop the president-elect from picking him as his national security adviser, the Department of Justice opened the investigation into his ties with the Turkish government.
Image Source: Defense.gov