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Yates to testify she warned White House about Flynn’s Russia contacts

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former acting attorney general Sally Yates is expected to testify to Congress next week that she expressed alarm to the White House about President Donald Trump’s national security adviser’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, which could contradict how the administration has characterized her counsel.

Yates is expected to recount in detail her Jan. 26 conversation about Michael Flynn and that she saw discrepancies between the administration’s public statements on his contacts with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and what really transpired, according to a person familiar with that discussion and knowledgeable about Yates’s plans for her testimony. The person spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the testimony.

The person said Yates is expected to say that she expressed alarm to White House counsel Don McGahn about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. White House officials have said that Yates merely wanted to give them a “heads-up” about Flynn’s Russian contacts.

Flynn was ousted weeks after the Yates conversation after White House officials. They initially maintained Flynn had not discussed Russian sanctions with Kislyak during the transition period, but after published reports said the opposite, then admitted he misled them about the nature of that call.

Yates’s scheduled appearance before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, alongside former intelligence director James Clapper, will provide her first public account of the conversation with McGahn. It will also represent her first testimony before Congress since Yates, an Obama administration holdover, was fired in January for refusing to defend Trump’s travel ban.

She was previously scheduled to appear in March before a House committee investigating Russian interference in the presidential election, but that hearing was canceled.