In January, President Donald Trump was informed by a White House lawyer that he should fire then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI and to Vice President Mike Pence, according to a new report.
CNN has reported that White House Counsel Donald McGahn informed the president earlier in the year that after speaking with then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, “he believed Flynn had not told the truth in his interview with the FBI or to Pence.”
However, the president was not informed that Flynn had violated the law in his FBI interview or was under criminal investigation, according to the report.
The news is sure to raise more questions regarding what the president knew when he allegedly urged former FBI Director James Comey to go easy on Flynn regarding ongoing investigation and whether or not Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
Trump tweeted over the weekend that he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI and to Pence when he fired him. “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote.
The tweet, which the president's personal lawyer took credit for following mass backlash, ignited calls for Trump to be investigated for obstructing justice.
“Are you ADMITTING you knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when you asked Comey to back off Flynn???????????????????????????????????????????” tweeted former government ethics official Walter Shaub. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted bluntly: “THIS IS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE."
"I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly,” Trump told reporters.
Over the weekend, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the Judiciary Committee's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election will also involve looking into possible “obstruction of justice,” adding that “I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.”