Sally Yates

It was a matter of urgency, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates says, when she called White House lawyers back in late January.

She needed to tell them that Gen. Michael Flynn, then-national security adviser, appeared to be lying to the White House, making him vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

"We believed that Gen. Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians," Yates told a Senate subcommittee on Monday. "To state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised by the Russians."

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with additional reporting

The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia detoured even further into partisan bickering.

The upshot of the day's back-and-forth was this: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the previous administration whom President Trump fired on Jan. 31, is not barred by the White House from testifying in open hearings in Congress.