Sally Yates
Sally YatesReuters

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said on Monday she warned the White House that former national security adviser Michael Flynn created a "compromise situation" and could have been "blackmailed."

“We weren’t the only ones that knew all of this,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary panel, according to The Hill, referring to the revelation that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the true content of a December call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“The Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done. The Russians also knew that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others,” she added.

“This was a problem because not only do we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof of this information — and that created a compromise situation, where the national security advisor essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians," said Yates.

While the Justice Department's concerns about Flynn have previously been reported, this is the first time Yates has discussed the concerns in public.

President Donald Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation in February, following the reports that he misled Pence about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador.

Since then, reports have said that Flynn told the FBI and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution.

His lawyer would not comment on the report in late March.

Yates was dismissed by Trump from her post as acting Attorney General after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending his executive order on immigration and refugees.

On Monday, she defended her decision to the panel, calling the travel ban “unlawful”.

"In looking at what the intent was of the executive order — which was derived in part of an analysis of facts outside of the face of the order — that is part of what led to our conclusion that it was not lawful," she said when asked about the issue by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).