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New documents suggest then-President Obama was acutely aware of Flynn entrapment

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Former President Barack Obama was apparently very aware of phone calls between then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian ambassador according to newly released documents.

Department of Justice documents released Thursday as part of dismissing the case against Flynn revealed that the former president not only knew details about the December 2016 calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, he surprised then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates with the information in the Oval Office.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The release of unsealed FBI notes which showed the crooked intentions of the agency to target and trap Flynn led to the Department of Justice dropping the case after lead prosecutor Brandon Van Grack withdrew on Thursday. And while prosecutors have claimed for the past three years that Flynn had lied to the FBI, and Obama and his intelligence officials denied targeting him, the latest document release provides damning evidence to the contrary.

“Yates, along with then FBI-Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, were at the White House to brief members of the Obama Administration on the classified Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities in Recent U.S Elections,” according to the newly declassified documents.

“President Obama was joined by his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and others from the National Security Council,” the documents continued, referring to the January 5, 2017 meeting where Russian election interference was being discussed.

Rice had indicated in a memo to herself that she and then-Vice President Joe Biden were also in the room.

“After the briefing, Obama dismissed the group but asked Yates and Comey to stay behind. Obama started by saying he had ‘learned of the information about Flynn’ and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions,” the document showed.

“Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information,” it continued. “At that point, Yates had no idea what the President was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can’t recall if he specified there was an ‘investigation.’ Comey did not talk about prosecution in the meeting.”

“It was not clear to Yates from where the President first received the information. Yates did not recall Comey’s response to the President’s question about how to treat Flynn,” the document continued. “She was so surprised by the information she was hearing that she was having a hard time processing it and listening to the conversation at the same time.”

The latest revelations and implications prompted swift reactions on Twitter.

Frieda Powers

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