The Trump/Russia story is rapidly becoming the Trump/Russia cover-up, and the guy at the heart of the attempt to stonewall on evidence is once again GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, the current House Intelligence Committee chair. Last week, Nunes abruptly canceled Intel committee hearings scheduled for today that were supposed to include testimony from, among other witnesses, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Now we find out the Trump Regime may very well have directed Nunes to cancel those hearings as a last ditch effort to keep Yates from public testimony.
There was supposed to be a public hearing on Tuesday that could have shed important light on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives.
But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) abruptly cancelled the hearing — which was scheduled to include former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former DNI James Clapper, and former CIA Director John Brennan — late last week. Ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA) called it an “attempt to choke off public info.”
Now, thanks to letters between Yates and the Justice Department reviewed by the Washington Post, it appears the Trump administration tried to prevent Yates from testifying about links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The letters, sent earlier this month, said Yates could not testify at a congressional hearing about Trump’s potential association with Russia because the topics “are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege.” Justice Department officials recommended she consult with the White House when deciding what details to disclose to the Intelligence Committee.
The White House called the Post’s story “entirely false” in an unsigned statement.
Yates, while still acting attorney general, played a central role in the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador, and his withholding of information from the Trump administration, before Trump asked for his resignation.
The White House is trying to pretend that it didn't take action to stop Yates from testifying about Trump/Russia connections she discovered, in particular involving recently fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Nevertheless, the same day that Yates's lawyer wrote back to the White House stating Yates's intent to testify, the hearing was cancelled by Nunes.
Democrats are continuing to blast Nunes and are calling for his resignation as House Intel Committee chair.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ announcement last week that officials from the transition team of President Donald Trump had been inadvertently surveilled by the U.S. intelligence community came at the behest of the White House, Rep. Eric Swalwell said Tuesday morning.
Nunes (R-Calif.) confirmed Monday that he had traveled to the White House to meet with his still-unnamed source on the day before he made his announcement but denied that the public disclosure was coordinated in any way with Trump administration officials. The White House, Nunes said in a CNN interview, simply served as a secure location for reviewing classified information and “I’m quite sure that I think people in the West Wing had no idea that I was there.”
But Swalwell (D-Calif.), also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, disputed the chairman’s argument Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s not an internet cafe. You can’t just walk in and receive classified information,” Swalwell said of the White House, adding that when a member of Congress visits, “everyone in the building knows that you’re there in the building.”
“This is done because the White House wanted it to be done,” the California Democrat said. “And this is what a cover-up to a crime looks like. We are watching it play out right now.”
If Nunes wanted to view classified materials, Swalwell said, there are secure facilities for doing so at the Capital, making a trip to the White House unnecessary. “If this was done the proper way, they could have brought it over, shared it with both parties of the committee,” he said.
Swalwell also wondered aloud why Nunes has been unwilling to share the source of his information when committee members have “always been on the same team up until now.”
That this looks bad for Nunes is a massive understatement, especially now that later this afternoon, Nunes declared that he would not be sharing his sources with the rest of the committee.
It really won't be too much longer I'd think.