President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn is under investigation for privately discussing U.S. sanctions against Russia by a phone call with a Russian official, law enforcement officials reported on Friday.
Several sources have reported that the conversation happened just before Trump taking office, and if verified as true, there would be a violation of protocol and potentially a violation of federal law.
One law enforcement source was briefed on the situation and reported that the conversation involved the progression of the relationship with Russia and pertained to the sanctions. Any discussion regarding actions by a private citizen, the law enforcement source explained, may bring conflict and confusion surrounding the U.S. national security interests.
Several other sources confirmed that investigators discovered the discussion through active electronic surveillance of Russian officials as well as particular intelligent operatives currently in the U.S.
The Washington Post was the first to report about the discussion which was published yesterday evening and revealed that the discussions involved Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In an interview conducted by the Washing post on Wednesday regarding the discussed actions with the ambassador, Flynn consistently denied the accusations.
Later on Thursday, Flynn began to contrast himself from the previous denial. His official spokesman reported to the Post that Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
Trump’s transition team and administration officials are aware that there were phone conversations involving Flynn and the Russian Ambassador. One of the calls took place during late December, which falls consistently with the timing of the Obama administration expiration of several Russian diplomats. During the same time, President Obama declared sanctions in response to Russia’s cyber attacks