Another hour, another bombshell in the accelerating pace of criminal and espionage inquiries into Donald Trump and his team.
Weeks before Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the U.S., Michael T. Flynn told the Trump transition team that he was being investigated for working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey. The Trump transition team named Flynn national security adviser anyway. “The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies,” reports the New York Times.
Mr. Flynn’s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.
His legal issues have been a problem for the White House from the beginning and are at the center of a growing political crisis for Mr. Trump. Mr. Flynn, who was fired after 24 days in the job, was initially kept on even after the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, warned the White House that he might be subject to blackmail by the Russians for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to Washington.
The White House “declined to comment” to the Times on whether officials there knew about Flynn’s legal issues before the inauguration.