Donald Trump has decided that he must stop former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying in his Russia scandal at all cost, and so he’s used his stooge Devin Nunes to ensure that Yates can’t testify before the House Intelligence Committee. This has required Nunes to set himself on fire, sinking both his career and the committee he chairs. But remarkably, none of this will stop Yates from simply testifying in a different venue.
Trump appears to have baited Nunes into leaking classified intel and compromising himself, simply so that the resulting debacle would create an opening where Trump could then nudge Nunes into canceling the remainder of the House Intel Committee hearings before Sally Yates could testify. Make no mistake, some damage has been done here. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intel Committee, is a former prosecutor and could have expertly asked Yates the right questions which would have allowed her to expose Trump’s bizarre desire to protect Russian operative Michael Flynn.
Trump has demanded that Yates not testify due to what he calls “client confidences” (link), and so it would have helped if Yates – a legal expert herself as evidenced by her time at the DOJ – were answering questions that were framed in a legally expeditious manner from Schiff. But while that won’t happen now in the House, Yates will still get her chance soon.
That’s because Donald Trump appears to have no real sway over the Senate Intel Committee, which has been running its own parallel investigation into his Russia scandal. The Senate committee has been treating the probe with the utmost seriousness, presumably due to eight of its fifteen members (six Democrats plus Independent Angus King plus Republican Susan Collins) wanting a serious investigation. The committee has pored over binders of classified Trump-Russia intel at CIA headquarters (link), and Collins has publicly threatened to subpoena Trump’s tax returns if it becomes necessary (link).
The Senate Intel Committee begins its public hearings this Thursday, March 30th. The first round of political witnesses has not yet been unveiled at the time of publication of this article, with Thursday’s roster thus far only listing technical experts and academics (morning schedule, afternoon schedule. But it’s a given that at some point Senate Intel Committee will bring in Sally Yates to testify. Donald Trump, who appears to have no puppets on the Senate committee willing to do his bidding, won’t be in a position to prevent Yates from persisting. Contribute to Palmer Report
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report