The former acting attorney general and the former director of national intelligence on Monday offered testimony before a Senate subcommittee that was very damaging to Russia and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but not so harmful to President Donald Trump.
Democrats long had been waiting for testimony from Sally Yates, who ran the Department of Justice in the early days of the Trump administration.
But while Yates testified about her concerns regarding Flynn’s discussions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, she offered no evidence to support the central conclusion that progressives hope to reach — that Trump or his associates colluded with Russian agents to tip the 2016 presidential election.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, also had no new information implicating Trump.
“What I don’t get is how the FBI can have a counter-intelligence investigation suggesting collusion and you, as director of national intelligence, not know about it and the FBI sign on to a report basically saying there is no collusion.” He said.
Republican senators pressed the witnesses on an issue that their Democratic colleagues showed absolutely no interest in — possible abuse of classified information.
Clapper and Yates both said they had reviewed classified documents related to the Trump transition but could not talk about it. Both said they never had been anonymous sources for journalists writing about the Trump campaign and had not authorized any other officials to be anonymous officials.
Graham asked how information about Flynn made it into The Washington Post.
“That’s a great question,” Clapper said. “I don’t know the answer to that.”
Added Yates: “Nor do I know the answer to that.”