Obama CIA chief to testify publicly in Russia probe

Obama CIA chief to testify publicly in Russia probe
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Former CIA Director John Brennan is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing as part of the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The hearing, set for next Tuesday, comes amid ongoing scrutiny of President Trump's relationship to Russia — and, from Republicans, concern that former Obama officials improperly handled incidentally collected surveillance of Trump allies and staffers. 

Brennan, who was CIA director from 2013 until Trump's inauguration in January, was involved in the intelligence community's assessment that Russia attempted to intervene in the U.S. election to help Trump win the White House.

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The hearing will also follow reporting from The Washington Post and others that Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during a meeting at the White House last week. 

Tuesday's panel will also include a closed portion, according to the committee's calendar. 

Brennan had previously been invited to testify before the intelligence panel in March with former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, but committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) canceled that appearance. 

While Republicans claimed that the committee needed to interview then-FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers in a closed setting first, Democrats said the move was intended to protect the White House. 

Yates was expected at the time to offer testimony that would contradict Trump administration officials. The cancellation of Brennan's appearance received far less notice.

Nunes has since recused himself from the Russia investigation, which is now being led by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas).