WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2017 – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“Today, the American people should have had the benefit of an open hearing, in which they would have heard from former Director of National Intelligence Clapper and former CIA Director Brennan about the Russian effort to meddle in last year’s Presidential election. The open hearing last week provided the public the first acknowledgement of an FBI investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, a direct repudiation of the President’s claim that he had been wiretapped by his predecessor, and also the most extensive discussion to date of the how the Russians accomplished this unprecedented intrusion into the nation’s electoral process. Today’s hearing would have built upon that understanding, but it was unfortunately and abruptly cancelled.
“Today’s hearing would also have provided the opportunity for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to testify about the events leading up to former National Security Advisor Flynn’s firing, including his attempts to cover up his secret conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
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“We are aware that former AG Yates intended to speak on these matters, and sought permission to testify from the White House. Whether the White House’s desire to avoid a public claim of executive privilege to keep her from providing the full truth on what happened contributed to the decision to cancel today’s hearing, we do not know. But we would urge that the open hearing be rescheduled without further delay and that Ms. Yates be permitted to testify freely and openly so that the public may understand, among other matters, when the President was informed that his national security advisor had misled the Vice President and through him, the country, and why the President waited as long as he did to fire Mr. Flynn.”