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Trump World knew Flynn was under investigation when he was hired

Just when it seemed the story surrounding Michael Flynn couldn't possibly get worse for Donald Trump and the White House, it gets worse.
Image: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe Press Conference at White House
Michael Flynn attends a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington, DC, USA, 10 February 2017. 

Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.Mr. Flynn's disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team's chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn's lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.

If there's a credible explanation for the series of events, I honestly can't imagine what it might be.Flynn was a foreign agent when Trump brought him on as a member of his inner circle. In the weeks and months that followed, Trump did nothing after learning that Flynn was under a federal investigation, and then again did nothing after his own Justice Department said Flynn had been compromised by Russia and was vulnerable to blackmail.In fact, even after Trump World knew all of this, the president continued to give Flynn access to the nation's most sensitive secrets and classified information -- which almost certainly represents an even more egregious example of the White House mishandling classified intelligence than Trump sharing secrets with Russians during an Oval Office chat requested by Vladimir Putin.And then, even after Trump was forced to fire Flynn, he reportedly took steps to derail the investigation into his National Security Advisor, privately urging then-FBI Director James Comey to back off because Flynn is such a "good guy."But wait, there's more. McClatchy News published a striking report of its own last night, noting steps Flynn took to use his office to help his foreign benefactor.

One of the Trump administration's first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired -- and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he'd been paid more than $500,000 to represent.The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon's plan to retake the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.'s most effective military partners. Obama's national security team had decided to ask for Trump's sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.Flynn didn't hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.

Flynn, you'll recall, is at the center of Trump's Russia scandal, and his attorney has said Flynn is eager to cut an immunity deal -- because he has "a story to tell."The Atlantic published an interesting article last week, quoting a source close to the White House who said Trump appears to be "worried about" what Flynn has to offer investigators. “[Trump] has questioned whether or not he should have fired Flynn," the source said. "They don’t know what Flynn’s going to say.”