White House pressures sacked lawyer Sally Yates against testifying against them
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 18:37
The Yates controversy continues as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is under heavy fire for abruptly canceling the hearing where she was supposed to testify.
Doubts over Nunes sharply escalated after the California Republican canceled a public hearing originally planned for Tuesday during which two senior intelligence officials appointed by Barack Obama, and the former acting attorney general Sally Yates, were scheduled to testify.
Chairman Nunes, who worked on the Trump transition team, went to the White House last week to view reports he claims shows intelligence agencies collected incidental information on Trump transition personnel.
Schiff wondered whether Nunes had canceled the public hearing at the White House's request to keep Yates from testifying - a claim White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied.
On Friday, the Justice Department wrote back to say that any approval concerning testimony about communications with the White House needed to come not from the department but straight from the White House. Mr. Nunes told reporters Tuesday morning.
Former White House officials have told NBC News that the administration should be able to quickly discern who signed Nunes into the building.
"I believe that the Chairman should recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, as well as any involvement in oversight of matters pertaining to any incidental collection of the Trump transition, as he was also a key member of the transition team", Schiff said. I have asked some preliminary questions. "I look forward to it", Spicer told reporters during his daily briefing.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia's role in the election, wants to question Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banker in December. Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic leader, called for the removal of Nunes on Monday. "There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee".
The embattled House intelligence committee chairman, Devin Nunes, has refused to recuse himself from the committee's investigation into Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation, despite calls from Democrats.
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Nunes should step down from the investigation. Democrats said the cancellations went further, including a regular meeting later in the week.
Nunes argues he had to review classified, executive branch documents from a secure facility at the White House because the reports had not been provided to Congress and could not be transported to the secure facilities used by the House intelligence committee.
After holding a press conference about his surveillance claims, Nunes briefed Trump, whose team is also under FBI investigation for alleged ties to Russian officials who may have interfered in the 2016 US election.