Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will testify next week as part of a Republican probe into the Russia investigation.
Yates will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Aug. 5, Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during an interview with Fox News Radio on Monday.
“She’s coming in Aug. 5,” Graham said.
A spokesperson for Graham confirmed that Yates will testify as part of a public hearing. Yates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the hearing, which comes as Senate Republicans ramp up their Obama-era investigations.
Graham, a close ally of Trump’s, is investigating the origins of “Crossfire Hurricane,” the name of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign, and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which followed it.
The investigation includes reviewing the probes of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, former national security advisor Michael Flynn and the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, courts.
Graham has only held one public hearing on the matter so far, with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before the committee earlier this year.
But Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted last month to grant Graham broad subpoena power, including being able to compel more than 50 individuals to appear. While Yates was one of those people, the spokesperson for the GOP senator told The Hill that the public hearing was being done on a voluntary basis.
Republicans want to hear from Yates because she was in the Oval Office for a Jan. 5, 2017, meeting that has emerged as an area of interest for the president’s allies.
Then-President Obama and then-FBI Director James Comey discussed sharing national security information related to Russia with Flynn, who was charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia shortly before President Trump took office. The Justice Department announced earlier this year that it was dropping the case against Flynn, setting off a firestorm on Capitol Hill.
Yates was also interviewed as part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FISA warrant applications linked to Page.
Yates told Horowitz that while she was deputy attorney general when the FBI opened its investigation, she did not recall getting a formal briefing from the FBI about the case in the summer of 2016 or any time before she left the Justice Department in January 2017.
Yates, who also briefly served as acting attorney general, approved both the initial warrant application on Page and the first renewal. Trump fired Yates in early 2017 after she declined to defend his travel ban.
Horowitz, as part of his review, found 17 significant errors and omissions from the warrant applications.
Graham said on Monday that he wants to know if Yates would have signed the surveillance warrant applications if she knew then what she knows now.
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