Report: Trump aides knew Flynn was being investigated before he became national security adviser

Donald Trump and Michael Flynn.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before President Trump's inauguration, Michael Flynn told Trump's transition team that he was the subject of a federal investigation, two people with knowledge of the case told The New York Times on Wednesday.

Last August, Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, was secretly hired by a Turkish businessman to launch a campaign discrediting Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed for instigating a failed coup last July, but Flynn did not register as a foreign agent, as required by law. On Nov. 30, the Justice Department let him know they were looking into his lobbying work, and he retained a lawyer.

On Jan. 4, Flynn let Don McGahn, the transition team's chief lawyer and current White House counsel, know about the investigation, and two days later, Flynn's attorney alerted transition lawyers. Despite the revelation, Trump still chose Flynn as his national security adviser, giving him access to almost every state secret, the Times said. Flynn was fired after 24 days on the job, when it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of discussions he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The White House would not comment on the report. Before Flynn was fired, acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House that he could be the subject of blackmail due to his conversations with the ambassador.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us