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Trump knocks Sally Yates ahead of congressional testimony

President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE on Wednesday tore into former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesBiden directs DOJ to phase out use of private prisons The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC Biden to name Merrick Garland for attorney general MORE ahead of her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for its probe into the Russia investigation.

Trump accused Yates, who was appointed by former President Obama, of wrongdoing regarding the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election interference and urged Republicans on the Judiciary panel to take a tough tone in their questioning of her. 

“Sally Yates has zero credibility. She was a part of the greatest political crime of the Century, and ObamaBiden knew EVERYTHING! Sally Yates leaked the General Flynn conversation? Ask her under oath. Republicans should start playing the Democrats game!” Trump tweeted. 

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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief FBI director faces lawmaker frustration over Capitol breach Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, announced last week that Yates would testify before his panel as the GOP ramps up their Obama-era investigations.

Graham’s efforts center around the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign as well as former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s subsequent probe. Among other things, the Senate panel’s investigation will examine probes into former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

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The GOP has been eager to hear from Yates over her presence at an Oval Office meeting in January 2017 between then-President Obama and then-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report MORE in which they discussed sharing national security information related to Russia with Flynn. Flynn was later charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians shortly before Trump took office.

Yates has also already been interviewed by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz as part of his examination into the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil Page. Yates approved the first warrant application on Page and the first renewal.

She served briefly as acting attorney general early in Trump’s tenure before being fired for refusing to defend his controversial travel ban.

Graham has been granted subpoena powers by Republicans on his panel who are eager to expose what they view as an overstep by the Justice Department in its investigation into Russian election interference, with Democrats saying the GOP is looking to conduct a partisan investigation in an election year.