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House Intelligence Committee Requests Sally Yates to Testify Over Russia

House Intelligence Committee Requests Sally Yates to Testify Over Russia

Her original hearing in March was canceled.

The House Intelligence Committee has invited some former President Barack Obama’s administration officials to testify in a closed hearing over the panel’s investigation into possible Russian interference in our presidential election.

The committee included former acting Attorney General Sally Yates who President Donald Trump fired when she instructed Department of Justice “lawyers not to make legal arguments defending” Trump’s executive order on immigration back in January.

Why Yates?

So why would the committee ask Yates about this investigation? The Hill explains:

Reports suggest that Yates, who was fired by Trump for refusing to defend in court his original travel ban, was expected to provide testimony that would conflict with comments from White House staff.

Yates first alerted the White House that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled Vice President Pence about the content of his calls to the Russian ambassador. The public revelation of those calls led to his resignation in February.

Last month, The Washington Post reported that the White House attempted to stop Yates from testifying. The newspaper received letters that showed that the DOJ told Yates that “it considers her possible testimony — including on the ouster of former national security adviser Michael Flynn for his contacts with the Russian ambassador — to be off-limits in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by attorney-client privilege or the presidential communication privilege.”

The DOJ told Yates’s lawyer David O’Neil that her “official communications on issues of interest to the House panel” can only be disclosed with “written consent.”

Then the DOJ communicated to O’Neil “that Yates’s communications with the White House are probably covered by ‘presidential communications privilege.'” The White House has denied taking any action to prevent Yates from testifying.

No publications have provided a hint as to what or whom she may contradict.

Other Witnesses

The committee released this statement:

Yesterday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sent two letters related to its investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign. The first letter was sent to FBI Director James Comey and National Security Advisor Admiral Mike Rogers, inviting them to appear at a closed hearing on May 2, 2017.

The second letter was sent to former CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates inviting them to appear at an open hearing to be scheduled after May 2nd.

Yates and the other two had a hearing in March, but Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) canceled it to receive more information from the NSA and FBI. The committee’s top Democrat Adam Schiff believed Nunes did that because of the White House. From Reuters:

“I think that there must have been a very strong pushback from the White House about the nature of Monday’s hearing. It’s hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why an agreed upon hearing would be suddenly canceled,” Schiff told a separate news conference.

After the back and forth with Schiff, Nunes recused himself from the investigation.


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notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Mary, what congress “members” make up this “committee?”

Oh FFS. Give it up! You clowns (democrats) lost the election because you ran the unelectable!

Russia had nothing to do with HRC being about as charismatic as dog turd on a hot day in a closed space!

could make for an interesting time, remember hindsight is always 20/20

The White House has denied taking any action to prevent Yates from testifying.

And as we all know, giant immobile buildings don’t lie. (actually, I trust the White House in this article more than I do the WaPo’s sources.)

As usual, the GOP will pretend to be the greenest, most inexperienced attorneys on the planet and not ask such obvious questions as to whom and where she received the classified information, who else was authorized, was Lynch informed, who else was tapped and where is a record of the conversations, were there any taps on Clinton or her campaign team or any other politicians. Where are the records kept, etc.

There a number of very good reasons why the Administration would not want Sally Yates to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, at this time.

One is the fact that she is a prior officeholder who specifically disobeyed the order of President Trump to execute the duties of her office, which resulted in her being fired. This would tend to suggest that her credibility would be a bit strained with regard to the Trump administration.

Another is the fact that she was the second in command of the DOJ at the time, as it now appears, that the department, including AG Lynch, was very probably engaged in improper activities, some of which are likely to be criminal. This could make her a principal in a crime and subject to criminal charges. The administration does not want her in a position to ask for and be granted any sort of immunity. Something which could happen, given the current make-up of the committee. This could not only complicate any investigation into such actions, but could result in making it impossible to hold anyone legally accountable for possibly criminal actions.

The Congress can not file criminal charges against anyone. The Executive branch does that. Congress is given investigative power to facilitate its job of drafting legislation. There is no likely legislation to come out of any of these hearings. So, these hearings are all designed to provide political theater, nothing more.

It is, however, AG Sessions job to investigate potential violations of law, especially criminal law, and to file charges against the violators. And, he does not need a bunch of elected politicians mucking up his investigation. This is the same as a RICO investigation or any other ongoing criminal enterprise. The investigator wants to have all of his evidence in hand and verified and warrants issued so that he can round up all the principles at once and successfully prosecute them. He does not need co-conspirators publicly tipping off their fellows that the raid is coming.

I call cultural appropriation! Kabuki theater is Japanese and has no place in DC.