Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Visit to WH grounds by intel chairman clouds investigation

Visit to WH grounds by intel chairman clouds investigation

The New York Times reported that two White House officials - including an aide whose job was recently saved by President Donald Trump - secretly helped Nunes examine intelligence information last week.

The lawyer said Yates still meant to testify and would not disclose any classified information.

He canceled the hearing shortly after he met with officials at the White House. "The committee asked her to testify on our own accord, and we still intend to have her speak to us".

A lawyer for former deputy attorney general Sally Yates says in letters last week that the Trump administration had moved to squelch her testimony in a hearing about Russian meddling in the presidential election.

The letter was sent on the same day that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes canceled a previously scheduled hearing that Yates was going to appear at. "The White House has taken no action to prevent Sally Yates from testifying and the Department of Justice specifically told her that it would not stop her and to suggest otherwise is completely irresponsible".

Yates was sacked in January as acting attorney general after she refused to defend the Trump administration's first travel ban. A person familiar with the situation confirmed them as authentic to The Associated Press.

The White House has denied taking any action to prevent that testimony.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee is asking whether an open congressional hearing on the Russian Federation probe was canceled because the White House did not want former acting Attorney General Sally Yates to testify and assert executive privilege. She also investigated former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who resigned in February. "Nevertheless, I am advising the White House of Ms. Yates' intention to provide information".

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan also were to testify. "I look forward to it", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today.

Nunes and the congressional inquiry he's leading into alleged Russian interference have come under increasing criticism in recent days, after he first claimed he had discovered "concerning" evidence that the Trump campaign was monitored after the election. He dismissed those comments as "a lot of politics".

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House refused to say on Thursday whether it gave the top Republican on the House intelligence committee access to highly classified materials.

The groups say they aim to shore up the president's sagging favorability ratings, build support for his Supreme Court justice nominee and loom as a 2018 election threat to lawmakers who oppose him.

"Because of classification rules, the source could not simply put the documents in a backpack and walk them over to the House Intelligence committee space", Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House intelligence committee, is calling on Chairman Devin Nunes to step down from the panel. He said the collections were not related to the Russian Federation investigation. On Tuesday, she told CNN that Nunes should go farther.

She said: "I'm asking for him to step down in the interest of our integrity".

Nunes' independence, however, has been called into question by Schiff and some other members of Congress following the last big cliffhanger in this melodrama.

"If you become a White House whisperer, you are not independent", she said on CNN.

Yates alerted the White House in January that Flynn had misled the White House about whether he had discussed sanctions in a December phone call with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a SC conservative, stopped short of saying whether Rep. Devin Nunes should recuse himself from the probe. But he hasn't said where he got the information other to acknowledge he was briefed on the details at the White House, raising questions about politically motivations.

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