Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates plans to tell a Senate panel next week that she strongly warned the White House about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired, according to a CNN report Tuesday.
According to Yates's reported testimony, she warned the Trump administration nearly three weeks before Flynn was ousted. Such a testimony would contradict the administration's account, sources familiar with her version of events told CNN.
Yates reportedly warned White House Counsel Don McGahn in late January that Flynn had lied publicly and privately about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak concerning U.S. sanctions.
Yates reportedly said that Flynn's misleading comments could have possibly made him vulnerable to being compromised by Russia, the sources told CNN.
Trump fired Flynn in early February after reports that the top aide had misled Vice President Pence and other White House officials about his conversations with Kislyak.
Yates told McGahn she had "serious concerns" and indicated that Flynn could be fired, according to CNN, which reported that the two met 18 days before Flynn was fired.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Feb. 14, the day after Flynn’s firing, that Yates only "wanted to give a heads up to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what [Flynn] had sent the vice president."
Yates's testimony May 8 will be the first time she speaks out publicly about her meeting with McGahn.
CNN reported that some of the details surrounding the controversy could still be classified, limiting her testimony in front of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had canceled Yates's initial scheduled appearance, saying he wanted to hear FBI Director James Comey's and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers’s testimony first. His decision fueled criticism from Democrats, who accused him of trying to prevent damaging information from coming out.
Yates declined CNN's request for comment before her testimony.