Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is set to testify before Congress today in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Naturally, Trump isn’t too thrilled about Yates revealing how she warned him that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was dirty on Russia, and how Trump fired her days later. That’s led Trump to let loose on Twitter with what sounds like a rather severe threat if she goes through with her testimony.
Here’s what Donald Trump tweeted today: “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.”
According to Cornell Law School, here’s what federal law says in part about federal witness intimidation laws:
“Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to— (1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding; (2) cause or induce any person to— (A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding; (B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; (C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or (D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or
(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” (link)
I’m not an attorney, but it sure sounds like some of the above applies to Donald Trump’s attempt at intimidating Sally Yates before her testimony by falsely accusing her of a crime, and thus tacitly implying he might try to use his office to punish her for it. Nonetheless, she’ll persist. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report