Ousted Obama official to speak on Trump aide's Russia talks

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There are two new reports out tonight focusing once again on Michael Flynn and on concerns the Obama White House had about the Trump team during the transition period.

Trump s dismissals notwithstanding, the Senate Judiciary Committee - where Yates and Clapper are to appear on Monday - and the House and Senate intelligence committees are stepping up their probes, calling numerous current and former government witnesses to testify, mostly behind closed doors.

A former military intelligence chief, Mr Flynn was Mr Trump's national security adviser for 24 days before he was sacked for lying about the substance of the calls.

In a statement Friday, the top senators of the Senate committee specifically warned Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker, to meet their week-old request for specific documents.

The latest letters request specific information from the former Trump campaign associates, most of whom had left the campaign by the time of the election. His resignation followed reports that Flynn discussed Russian Federation sanctions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, contrary to White House statements.

Flynn was sacked 18 days after Yates went to the White House, and only after news stories revealed the existence of a transcript of Flynn's telephone conversation with Kislyak, which was recorded as part of routine USA intelligence monitoring of foreign officials' communications.

Clapper will likely testify as to whether there was any evidence that members of the Trump transition team colluded with Moscow to influence the election. Some reports indicate Yates told the White House that Flynn's explanations were inaccurate, leaving him open to blackmail or manipulation by Russian officials.

And the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues its own active investigation into possible collusion.

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In February, Spicer told reporters that Yates had "informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give a heads up to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict". Flynn was forced to resign three weeks later for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about the content of his discussions with Kislyak.

Yates is likely to testify Monday that she warned White House counsel Don McGahn on January 26 that Flynn's contacts - and the discrepancies between what the White House said happened on the calls and what actually occurred - had left him in a compromised position, according to a person familiar with her expected statements.

What happened next isn't clear. But did McGahn ever tell Trump about Yates' warning?

The problem for Trump is that there is a whole lot of smoke already surrounding his campaign and its ties to Russian Federation - with Flynn at the center of it all.

It took a month for House investigators to even settle on inviting Yates back for a new hearing, but by that point Graham had already booked her for his investigation with the Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

Also scheduled to testify is former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who attracted attention for a March television interview in which he said that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation at the time he left government in January.

A week before the planned House hearing, O'Neil went to the Justice Department to discuss the issue of her testimony. Now will be their chance to hear directly from Clapper about whether his previous belief still stands.

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