Congress’ investigation into Trump-Russian ties isn’t running smoothly on a few fronts. It seems that beyond the strange cover-up by Rep. Devin Nunez (R-Calif) on what he was doing at the White House the day before he held his infamous surveillance press conference, there may be an attempt by the Trump administration to cover up something else — Sally Yates’ testimony.
Just earlier this month, the Justice Department notified former Attorney General Sally Yates that much of her possible testimony could be “barred” in front of Congress, which has called her in as part of their investigation into Russian ties. The given reason is that the Trump administration feels her testimony might cover topics protected by the presidential communication privilege. In other words, the administration really really thinks Yates should zip it.
Yet, Yates is not backing down and in a letter to the White house, her attorney David O’ Neil made that very clear. (NBC’s Bradd Jaffy posted the letter on Twitter.)
In the letter, O’Neil promises that the former deputy attorney general will testify but will avoid discussing classified information. On the same day that the letter arrived, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who is being accused by Democrats of working with White House, canceled the hearing. In fact, he has now canceled all the House Intel Committee meetings for the rest of the week.
This has all lead to tensions between the members of the House’s Intelligence Committee, and in response, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) urged Rep. Nunes to rescue himself from the investigation and reschedule Yates immediately.
Yates was fired back in February during the first few days of the Trump administration for ordering the Justice Department to not defend the President’s travel ban. She was also a key part in investigating Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for possible Russian ties.