Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and retired Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified jointly today before the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. The hearings were not entirely partisan, but certain Republican Senators tried to muddy the waters on Trump’s behalf. It didn’t go well for them.
Sally Yates was speaking publicly today for the first time since she quickly rose to national prominence for being fired by Trump, and in so doing, she revealed herself to be intelligent and judicious. James Clapper had already revealed the same about himself during his previous public statements on the Trump-Russia scandal. But some members of the GOP nonetheless tried to outwit them today.
To be fair, some Republicans involved in today’s hearings, including subcommittee chair Lindsey Graham and Ben Sasse, conducted themselves responsibly. But other Republican Senators eschewed any semblance professionalism in favor of trying to either sabotage the proceedings or prove how smart they were. Ted Cruz tried to demonstrate his own legal and constitutional knowledge, but Yates ended up running circles around him, demonstrating why she spent to many years rising through the DOJ ranks. Others fared even poorly than Cruz.
GOP Senator John Kennedy kept cutting off Sally Yates, seemingly afraid of allowing her to offer in depth answers. And then Kennedy asked James Clapper if he had ever leaked unclassified information – prompting Clapper to respond “unclassified is not leaking” and bringing widespread laughter to the chamber. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report