The Washington Post relentlessly pursues the investigation with a report today as summarized here. The initial focus is on Michael Flynn who blatantly disregarded counsel by the Department of Defense not to engage in "consultations" with foreign governments, especially not Russia. Flynn ignored that, and the question is why?
One possible reason is that he believed that he had "top cover" from Donald Trump. Or, maybe he just wanted to establish a brand of consulting as a foreign agent operating without legal portfolio? Only Flynn can answer that.
According to the "Post" report, The Trump transition officials warned Flynn about contacts with the Russian ambassador. Observe that this happened after Trump had won the presidency.
One thing is clear from the Comey testimony this week is that the National Security Agency and CIA community is way ahead of the FBI in this process.
"By Greg Miller and Adam Entous May 5 at 7:12 PM
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of President Trump’s transition team about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador weeks before the December call that led to Flynn’s forced resignation, current and former U.S. officials said.
Flynn was told during a late November meeting that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s conversations were almost certainly being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said, a caution that came a month before Flynn was recorded discussing U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak, suggesting that the Trump administration would reevaluate the issue."
The Trump team was entirely aware that its communications were being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as all transition teams are at this stage.
The report says:
"Officials were so concerned that Flynn did not fully understand the motives of the Russian ambassador that the head of Trump’s national security council transition team asked Obama administration officials for a classified CIA profile of Kislyak, officials said."If that is the case, Michale Flynn should never have been considered for nomination to a national security post in the administration. The fact that Trump and his team were fully conscious about the situation implies two things: 1) they were intentionally skirting something, or 2) were participants in compounding bad actions and ignorance.
The circumstances still point to Donald Trump having possible conflicts with the Russians.
"The failed efforts to intervene with Flynn also cast harsh new light on a national security adviser who lasted just 24 days on the job before revelations about his discussions with Kislyak — and misleading accounts of them — forced him to resign."
Providing the Kislyak bio was seen by Obama officials as part of an effort “to make sure the new team had a full appreciation of the extent of the threat from Russia,” a former U.S. official said.
The perceived need to impress this point upon Flynn added to the growing concerns among senior members of the Obama administration, who at the time were still coming to grips with the scale of Russian interference in the 2016 election and were worried that any punitive measures they imposed might be rescinded when Trump was sworn in."(content omitted)
The unusual steps taken by transition officials working with Flynn suggest that internal tensions over Russia began almost immediately after Trump’s victory in an election that Moscow sought to help him win, according to a declassified report from U.S. intelligence agencies."
Image from The Hard Democrat
Image from The Washington Post