Sally Yates is a career civil servant in the Justice Department. She was hired under the first Bush administration, promoted during the Clinton administration, promoted again during the second Bush administration, and yet again under the Obama administration. Two years ago she was named deputy attorney general, the second ranking position in the department, and then became acting attorney general when Loretta Lynch left. President Trump asked her to stay on until Jeff Sessions was confirmed, and she agreed. A few days later, after declining to defend Trump’s immigration order in court, she was fired.
Today she’s scheduled to testify about what she told the White House regarding National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s connections to Russia. Trump isn’t waiting, though. He’s decided to pre-smear her:
Per @axios, WH plans to smear Sally Yates tomorrow as a “Democratic operative.”
She was a nonpolitical, career DOJ attorney for two decades pic.twitter.com/5FEUL9PXte
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) May 7, 2017
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
Hmmm. I get the impression that Trump is pretty sure her testimony is going to be damaging. We already know that she warned the Trumpies that Flynn had lied about his contacts with Russia, and today we learned that President Obama had previously warned Trump away from hiring Flynn. (The White House response, apparently, is that they thought Obama was just kidding.) Despite all this, Trump hired Flynn and then kept him on. It was only when Flynn’s lying became public that Trump fired him.
Anyway, this should all guarantee a huge audience for today’s hearing. It’s at 2:30 pm Eastern, which probably means 3 pm once all the preliminary throat clearing and speechifying is done.