Sally Yates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this past Monday, but it already feels like ancient history. Yates testified with former DNI James Clapper about events leading to the termination of Michael Flynn as President Trump’s National Security Adviser only days into his job.
At the time of the events in issue Yates served as Acting Attorney General, holding over from the Obama administration until her dismissal by President Trump on January 30. I find her slight southern accent endearing but, like so many Obama administration apparatchiks, Yates is one slippery customer and (to borrow a phrase from the good Yeats) rough beast.
Eli Lake provided an early take on the events leading to Flynn’s firing in “The political assassination of Michael Flynn” Lake’s subhead puts it this way: “Flynn was the appetizer. Trump is the main course.”
In her testimony Yates explained why she refused to defend President Trump’s first immigration executive order (the so-called “travel ban”) in the related judicial proceedings. Not many noticed — certainly no one in the mainstream media noticed — that Yates’s testimony veered from her original explanation. As Jack Goldsmith put it at Lawfare, Yates changed her tune. As I say, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, Yates is one slippery customer. Goldsmith tacitly proves this point to a fare-thee-well.
In the heart of her headline making testimony, Yates explained why she had found Flynn subject to blackmail by — who else? — the Russians. Andy McCarthy says it ain’t so in “Sally Yates: Much ado about nothing new.” At RedState Streiff concurs. On the contrary, according to Paul Sperry in the New York Post, “Sally Yates was the real blackmailer.” Sperry cogently concludes: “Yates was no Paul Revere saving the nation from Russian moles. She was a partisan hack trying to save Obama’s liberal legacy.”
We are inundated with the Democrats’ propaganda and the related misinformation served up by the Democrats’ mainstream media adjunct. The chaos within the Trump administration has left it standing unchallenged in the case of Sally Yates, which serves to open a window onto the critical matters on which she has had her hands.