Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, just spoke out on the cancellation of a public hearing about Trump and Russia.
Last week, it was announced that House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) abruptly cancelled a public hearing relating to the growing concerns that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election. The reason for that hearing’s cancellation has now been made clear.
On Tuesday morning, it was widely reported that Sally Yates — whom Trump fired as Acting Attorney General after she refused to support his Muslim ban — was due to testify at that hearing about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whom Trump was forced to fire after his extensive ties to Russia were revealed. According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration intervened to have Rep. Nunes cancel the hearing in order to avoid public embarrassment for the White House.
“Yates and another witness at the planned hearing, former CIA director John Brennan, had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to the committee probably would contradict some statements that White House officials had made, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” wrote the Post’s Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous. “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.”
In a public statement issued from his verified Twitter account, Rep. Schiff (D-California) called on his colleague to reschedule the hearing and invite Yates to testify in order for Americans to learn the full truth about what she knew regarding Flynn and his relationship with the Russian Federation.
“We are aware that former AG Yates intended to speak on these matters, and sought permission to testify from the White House. Whether the White House’s desire to avoid a public claim of executive privilege to keep her from providing the full truth on what happened contributed to the decision to cancel today’s hearing, we do not know. But we would urge that the open hearing be rescheduled without further delay and that Ms. Yates be permitted to testify freely and openly so that the public may understand, among other matters, when the President was informed that his national security advisor had misled the Vice President and through him, the country, and what the President waited as long as he did to fire Mr. Flynn.”
Read Schiff’s full statement below:
Was today's open hearing cancelled because WH did not want Sally Yates to testify re Gen Flynn's deception? Didn't want to assert privilege? pic.twitter.com/qO63IfPtAP
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 28, 2017
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.