FBI interviewed ‘not entirely forthcoming’ Flynn shortly after Trump took office
UPDATE: The New York Times updated the story’s second paragraph
While it is not clear what he said in his F.B.I. interview, investigators believed that Mr. Flynn was not entirely forthcoming, the officials said. That raises the stakes of what so far has been a political scandal that cost Mr. Flynn his job. If the authorities conclude that Mr. Flynn knowingly lied to the F.B.I., it could expose him to a felony charge. President Trump asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation Monday night.
This is looking worse and worse – and appears to be moving from a political to a criminal scandal – for Donald J. Trump and his merry band of compromised nationalists.
Note that then-acting AG Sally Yates notified the White House that Flynn may be “vulnerable to blackmail” after the interview.
F.B.I. agents interviewed Michael T. Flynn when he was national security adviser in the first days of the Trump administration about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, current and former officials said on Tuesday.
The interview raises the stakes of what so far has been a political scandal that cost Mr. Flynn his job. If he was not entirely honest with the F.B.I., it could expose Mr. Flynn to a felony charge. President Trump asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation on Monday night.
While it is not clear what he said in his F.B.I. interview, Mr. Flynn maintained publicly for more than a week that his conversations with the ambassador were innocuous and did not involve Russian sanctions, something now known to be false.
Shortly after the F.B.I. interview, on Jan. 26, the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, told the White House that Mr. Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of inconsistencies between what he had said publicly and what intelligence officials knew to be true.
At issue is a conversation during the presidential transition in which Mr. Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about sanctions levied against Russia by the Obama administration. The call spurred an investigation by the F.B.I. into whether Mr. Flynn had violated the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in disputes with the United States.
On Tuesday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said that President Trump was made aware of the situation weeks ago. Mr. Spicer said the White House had reviewed the situation and determined that Mr. Flynn didn’t violate any laws during his call with the Russian ambassador.
Add the fact that Trump was told 17 days ago that Flynn “had not been truthful’ to Mike Pence and you have the largest scandal involving a foreign power since Iran-Contra – and potentially a scandal far more damaging to national security.