Even as it continues to appear that the investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal will ultimately be spearheaded by the Senate Intelligence Committee, it turns out its counterpart in the House is the first to formalize a witness testimony list and schedule for its hearings. Two of the names which stand out on the House Intel Committee witness list: current FBI Director James Comey and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
The inclusion of Yates is notable in that when Donald Trump fired her five weeks ago, it was believed at the time to have been related solely to their differences over Trump’s Muslim ban. It was later revealed that Yates had alerted Trump’s White House that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was a potential blackmail risk due to the secret communications he’d been having with the Russian Ambassador. In hindsight it appears Trump may have fired Yates partly to try to protect Flynn, who ended up resigning over the matter anyway. And now Yates will get her say.
It’s customary for the initial round of testimony in Congressional hearings to consist of officials and witnesses who are willing to fully cooperate and who are not targets of the investigation, so as to establish the facts and circumstances, before moving on to witnesses who may be uncooperative or suspects.
So it’s not surprising to see that that the initial House Intelligence Committee witness roster includes Sally Yates, James Comey, recently retired director of national intelligence James Clapper, and recently retired CIA director John Brennan, who are all set to testify in hearings beginning on March 20th (source: Bloomberg). Any investigation targets, such as Michael Flynn or other Trump advisers, would presumably be called to testify afterward. But for those who have been waiting for Sally Yates to get her chance at exposing Donald Trump over Russia, that wait time is now less than two weeks. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report