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Trump officials shut down Russia testimony by Sally Yates, citing executive privilege

So it turns out it wasn’t that the House Intelligence Committee wasn’t interested in hearing the testimony from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general from Atlanta who refused to enforce President Donald Trump’s first travel ban.

Rather, the Trump administration didn’t want her to talk at all. From the Washington Post:

According to letters The Post reviewed, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers a great deal of her possible testimony to be barred from discussion in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by the presidential communication privilege…

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. 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.

The panel’s chairman, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., refused to say whether the White House asked him to scrap the hearing:

NBC News has a copy of the letters documenting the U.S. Department of Justice stance, too:

Read more:

Parsing the silence of Sally Yates, the new hero of Georgia Democrats

Fired for defying President Trump: Who is Sally Quillian Yates?

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.