Even as it appears that the investigation into Trump’s Russia scandal will eventually be headed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, it turns out its counterpart in the House is the first to enact 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;
- Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
Including Yates is noteworthy in that when 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 retrospection 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 routine for the initial round of testimony in Congressional hearings to comprise officials and witnesses who are willing to fully cooperate and who are not targets of the investigation, so as to start the facts and circumstances, before moving on to witnesses who may be uncooperative or suspects.
So it’s not surprising to see that the initial House Intelligence Committee witness roster includes:
- Sally Yates;
- James Comey;
- James Clapper, recently retired director of national intelligence;
- Retired CIA director John Brennan.
All set to testify in hearings beginning on March 20th . Any investigation targets, like Michael Flynn or other Trump advisers, would probably be called to testify afterward. But for those who have been waiting for Sally Yates to get her chance at exposing Trump over Russia, that wait is now less than two weeks.
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