REVEALED: Devin Nunes Canceled Russia Hearing Same Day Sally Yates Promised to Testify About Mike Flynn
This post has been updated since it first published. The original story can be found below.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) abruptly canceled this week’s House Intelligence Committee hearings on the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia hours after the former acting attorney general notified the White House she would discuss her concerns about Michael Flynn.
Sally Yates had been called to testify before the committee chaired by Nunes, and she agreed not to discuss classified information or other details that could compromise an ongoing investigation, reported the Washington Post.
But the White House notified her attorney Thursday that Yates could not discuss her conversations with Trump administration officials about her concerns over Flynn, then the national security adviser, and his communications with the Russian ambassador.
The following day, Friday, another Justice Department official, Scott Schools, notified Yates and her attorney that the conversations about Flynn were privileged and therefore confidential.
“The president owns those privileges,” Schools wrote. “Therefore, to the extent Ms. Yates needs consent to disclose the details of those communications to [the House intelligence committee], she needs to consult with the White House. She need not obtain separate consent from the department.”
Yates’ lawyer responded by arguing that claim of privilege had been “waived as a result of the multiple public comments of current senior White House officials describing the January 2017 communications.”
The attorney told the White House counsel that Yates planned to testify about those conversations.
Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, then canceled the hearings at which Yates would have testified.
Devin Nunes Canceled Russia Hearings to Keep Sally Yates from Testifying: Ex-CIA and Defense Official
The mysterious “midnight run” by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on the White House grounds last week was ploy to keep former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to a former top official with the CIA and the Department of Defense.
Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that’s investigating the Russian ties, abruptly canceled this week’s hearings as questions swirled around his visits to the White House to pick up intelligence related to the probe and then brief President Donald Trump on the findings.
The House panel was scheduled to hear from Yates on Tuesday, as well as former President Barack Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff at Defense Department and CIA under Obama, said Nunes concocted the stunt to shut down the testimony of Yates — who Trump fired for refusing to enforce his travel ban, and after she expressed concern about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador.
“The real story, the real issue here, is not so much about the midnight run by the chairman onto the White House grounds, it’s really that they wanted to cancel the hearing this week,” Bash told MSNBC’s Brian Williams.
“The hearing this week was going to hear from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, and I’m told that she had some very interesting things to tell the committee, to tell the public about when she told the White House counsel that Mike Flynn had, in fact, been lying to the vice president,” Bash continued. “She was only going to be able to speak those things in the context of a congressional hearing, and so the White House and the chairman needed to shut her down. This was an elaborately choreographed gag order on Sally Yates.”
Interesting—Jeremy Bash implies Sally Yates had revelations for House Intel about when she told WH that Flynn lied.… https://t.co/jpDqYhMNCl— Bradd Jaffy (@Bradd Jaffy) 1490673174.0