More than three months after Donald Trump fired her, and more than a month after she was first scheduled to testify in his Russia scandal, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is finally getting her first public moment in front of the microphone today. She knows inside details about how Trump and his White House handled certain key aspects of the Russia scandal. Here’s what to expect from her testimony, and how the senate subcommittee is likely to handle it:
1. Donald Trump fired Sally Yates a few days after she warned him and his White House that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was dirty on Russia and was a possible blackmail risk. For the first time tomorrow, we’ll hear precisely what she said about the matter to whom, and the response she received. She may also reveal how she learned Flynn was dirty, what dirt she learned about him, and who else in the federal government knew at the time.
2.Trump officially fired Yates a few days later, supposedly over a disagreement about the Muslim ban, which was later ruled unconstitutional in federal court. Tomorrow we should hear from Yates how her firing was presented to her, and whether anyone in the Trump White House admitted to her that she was actually fired in order to protect Michael Flynn.
3. Yates is testifying tomorrow before the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee (link). That subcommittee is chaired by Lindsey Graham, a Republican who wants to get to the bottom of the Trump-Russia scandal but who also seems to want to at least partially pander to the Trump side along the way. So expect his questions to be a mixed bag. But all of the other Republicans and Democrats on the subcommittee, including Democratic ranking member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, will also get their chance to ask Yates about whatever they think is pertinent.
4. Sally Yates’ testimony is in a public hearing tomorrow, so it’ll probably air live on CNN and MSNBC, and it’ll definitely air live on CSPAN. The Senate subcommittee is also streaming the hearings live on its website (link). The hearings begin at 2:30pm eastern time. But Yates and James Clapper are both testifying, and it’s not clear which will go first. This is likely to be the most explosive testimony in the Trump Russia scandal to date, so be sure to get your popcorn ready. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report