DONALD TRUMP and his minions didn’t want former acting attorney general Sally Yates to testify this week before Congress.
What she knew about Michael Flynn and the Russians was a little too close for comfort.
With the help of disgraced Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, they got the job done.
White House counsel Donald McGahn was told by Yates that White House officials were not telling the truth about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Citing “client confidences,” the Trump White House worked overtime to stop her public testimony. Yates’s attorney was blunt:
“We believe that the department’s position in this regard is overbroad, incorrect, and inconsistent with the department’s historical approach to the congressional testimony of current and former officials,’’ the letter continues. “In particular, we believe that Ms. Yates should not be obligated to refuse to provide non-classified facts about the department’s notification to the White House of concerns about the conduct of a senior official. Requiring Ms. Yates to refuse to provide such information is particularly untenable given that multiple senior administration officials have publicly described the same events.’’
Yates and another witness at the planned hearing, former CIA director John Brennan, had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to the committee probably would contradict some statements that White House officials had made, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The following day, when Yates’s lawyer sent a letter to the White House indicating that she still wanted to testify, the hearing was canceled.
[…] Yates’s attorney then sent a letter Friday to McGahn, the White House lawyer, saying that any claim of privilege “has been waived as a result of the multiple public comments of current senior White House officials describing the January 2017 communications. Nevertheless, I am advising the White House of Ms. Yates’ intention to provide information.’’
That same day, Nunes, the panel’s chairman, said he would not go forward with the public hearing that was to feature Yates’s testimony.