The House Intelligence Committee formally announced today that former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has been invited to testify in its hearings on Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. This comes after a number of false starts which were derailed by Republican committee chairman Devin Nunes, who ultimately had to step away from the investigation after he compromised himself by trying to protect Trump.
What stands out here is that congressional committees only take action by majority vote. The House Intel Committee consists of thirteen Republicans and nine Democrats. Even with Nunes gone from the investigation, the Republicans still have a 12-9 advantage. And yet the committee has nonetheless voted to invite Sally Yates to testify. That means that at least two Republicans on the committee have voted in favor of it. And that’s remarkable, considering that the Donald Trump administration was so desperate to prevent Yates from testifying that it goaded Devin Nunes into derailing his own career last month just to try to prevent it.
It appears that while Trump may still have Republican allies on the House Intel Committee, none of them are willing to set themselves on fire just to protect him – and at least a couple of them are so unwilling to protect him, they weren’t even willing to vote against the Sally Yates testimony. Yates notified Trump’s White House that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was dirty on Russia, and instead of firing him accordingly, Trump used the first excuse he could find to fire her.
And so Yates must have quite a story to tell about how far backward Trump bent over to try to protect Flynn, whom we now know was a foreign agent of Russia all along. This is the strongest evidence yet that, despite his party being in the minority on the committee, Democratic ranking member Adam Schiff may now be effectively calling the shots with Nunes out of the way. All that’s known thus far about the date of the Sally Yates testimony is that it’s scheduled for “after May 2nd” (source: intelligence.house.gov). It turns out the committee first wants to hear from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers again, this time in private. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report