Political Insider

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Yates worries Comey’s ouster will have ‘chilling effect’ on Russia probe

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates said she’s concerned that President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director Jim Comey will have a “chilling effect” on the federal investigation into the campaign’s ties to Russia.

In an interview that aired on CNN late Tuesday, Yates said she has no doubt that the men and women of the Justice Department and FBI “are really committed to finding the truth, whatever that truth is.”

“But this is certainly a troubling situation, and it can have a chilling effect," she added. "They should be able to do their jobs without fear – without any kind of fear at all.”



It was the first television interview for Yates, a former top federal prosecutor in Atlanta, since she was fired by Trump in January for refusing to enforce his immigration order.

The interview was taped before The New York Times report that Trump asked Comey to shut down the investigation into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

She told the network that she acted with urgency to warn White House counsel that Flynn could be subjected to blackmail because of his links to Russian officials.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked whether Trump’s tweets accusing her of leaking confidential information were accurate. She unequivocally rejected that.

“There have been a number of tweets that have given me pause,” she said.

Cooper asked: “Do you want to elaborate on that?”

Answered Yates: “No.”

Read more at MyAJC: Yates on why she defied Trump’s immigration order – and why she won’t run for governor

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.