07 April, 2017
The Washington Post first reported the letters.
The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian Federation detoured even further into partisan bickering. The delay came as former CIA Director John Brennan, ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates were due to deliver public testimony.
When - or whether - Yates actually does appear is another matter.
"It is very, very important that whoever released that go to jail", Paul told ABC News. But that hearing, and then another closed session that took its place, were both canceled last week.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday the material the White House wants the House and Senate intelligence leaders to view was discovered by the National Security Council. The lawyer, David O'Neil, wrote that there may not be a reason for Yates to withhold information related to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation because top Trump administration officials have already discussed the situation publicly.
The next day, Nunes made an unannounced late-night visit to the White House and spoke with unidentified official (but possibly a former Nunes staffer) about FISA-derived information. Not only that but the Russians' knowledge about what Flynn had said left him open to blackmail, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned.
"The report in The Washington Post is 100 percent false". The Post cited letters from Yates' attorneys to the Justice Department.
Swalwell dismissed Spicer's denial, quipping that if the press secretary says something, "the opposite is probably happening".
Nunes announced last week without providing a source that he had information Trump associates may have been ensnared in incidental intelligence collection before the president took office in January.
The committee's top Democratic member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has said that action alone sufficiently crossed the line where Nunes must recuse himself.
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Nunes is facing increasing pressure from Democrats to step away because he's seen as being too close to the White House, especially after he went to the White House grounds to review secret reports. Therefore, to the extent Ms. Yates needs consent to disclose the details of those communications to [the intelligence panel], she needs to consult with the White House.
While even other Republicans, such as Sen. "Trump Russia story is a hoax, " he tweeted.
"That leadership is long overdue", she said.
So the House Intelligence Committee saga rolls on, at least in name only.
The hearing would have been another public airing of the infighting within the committee. That brings us to a couple of problems for the Trump White House.
The Trump administration forcefully denied it tried to bar former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on its Russian Federation investigation, after reports suggested it may have tried to do so. The hearing was later canceled by the House intelligence committee chairman. The following day, when Yates's lawyer sent a letter to the White House indicating that she still wanted to testify, the hearing was canceled.
"I've been around for quite a while, and I've never heard of any such thing", McCain said of Nunes' behavior in an appearance on CBS Tuesday morning. She could have discussed the details about what the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department knew about former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Schiff said.
But Spicer maintains that the reporting is completely inaccurate.
After the Post published the story, the White House issued the following statement: "The Washington Post story is entirely false".
In the letters, attorney David O'Neil said he understood the Justice Department was invoking "further constraints" on testimony she could provide at a House intelligence committee hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday.