Cover-up: House GOP shuts down Yates’ Russia testimony

House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes appears to have shut down today’s Russia hearing in order to censor the testimony of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Yates, you’ll recall, notified the Trump White House in January that ex- Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was lying about a secret conversation he had with the Russian ambassador. It took the White House weeks before they finally fired Flynn, ostensibly for the lie.

According to NBC News, Yates notified Congress on Friday that she planned to testify about Flynn and Russia. Within hours, committee chair Nunes canceled the entire hearing.

Devin Nunes

Devin Nunes

It now seems clear that Nunes canceled the hearing on behalf of Trump. The ranking Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, noted today, suggests that Trump didn’t want to assert executive privilege, lest it look like he had something to hide, so he had Nunes cancel the hearing entirely. As Yates wasn’t the only person testifying, the White House and Nunes hoped that no one would figure out why it was canceled.

The Washington Post has more. Yates and former CIA director John Brennan had planned to offer testimony contradicting assertions made by the Trump administration:

Yates and another witness at the planned hearing, former CIA director John Brennan, had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to the committee probably would contradict some statements that White House officials had made, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The following day, when Yates’s lawyer sent a letter to the White House indicating that she still wanted to testify, the hearing was canceled.

As Democratic House member Eric Swalwell said on Morning Joe this morning, this is what a cover-up to a crime looks like:

Nunes clearly thinks he’s doing Trump a favor. And in the short-term, he probably is. But by covering up Yates’ (and Brennan’s) testimonies, Nunes is only furthering the scent of scandal permeating the entire Trump White House.

Nunes is already in hot water for his bizarre claim last week, since partly retracted, that he’d seen evidence that Trump and his staff were wiretapped. We then found out the next day that Nunes may have only seen evidence that foreign nationals were recorded talking about Trump and his staff. But even that evidence still has not been show to Nunes’ fellow members of the House or Senate Intelligence committees, lending credence to the theory that Nunes simply made the entire thing up, again at the behest of Donald Trump.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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