Distraction by Nunes was an “elaborately choreographed gag order on Sally Yates”
By Jeff Kirkpatrick
March 31, 2017
Representative Devin Nunes has told numerous conflicting accounts regarding his justification for going directly to the White House and discussing with Trump some alleged secret information. The entire drama was nothing more than a smokescreen because Nunes cancelled the open Intelligence Committee hearing for this week. This completely unethical distraction was designed to draw the media away from the fact that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was due to testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee on March 28, 2017.
Sally Yates first came into the spotlight when she was fired by Trump because she correctly stated that Trump’s travel ban was not legally defensible. Following this incident it also became widely known that, as the Washington Post reports, “she played a key part in the investigation surrounding Michael T. Flynn, a Trump campaign aide who became national security adviser before revelations that he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States in late December led to his ouster.”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson (Politics USA) reported that Jeremy Bash (the former chief of staff at Defense Department and CIA under Obama), had stated on MSNBC’s late night segment “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams”, that,
“The real story, the real issue here, is not so much about the midnight run by the chairman onto the White House grounds, it’s really that they wanted to cancel the hearing this week. The hearing this week was going to hear from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general – and I’m told that she had some very interesting things to tell the committee – to tell the public about when she told the White House counsel that Mike Flynn had, in fact, been lying to the vice president and she was only going to be able to speak those things in the context of a congressional hearing, and so the White House and the chairman needed to shut her down. This was an elaborately choreographed gag order on Sally Yates.”
Bill Palmer reported that Sally Yates was scheduled to testify on March 20, 2017, and that – without any explanation – her name disappeared from the list of witnesses to testify that day.
CNN had reported that “Nunes said he has invited FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, as well as former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify.”
On March 24, 2017, Congressman Adam Schiff tweeted: “BREAKING: Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with Clapper, Brennan and Yates in attempt to choke off public info.”
The Trump administration has been called out for using various methods of distraction before. Even though Nunes was on Trump’s transition team, he never recused himself from the investigation into possible collusion between Trump and others with Russia.
Back in February, Malcolm Nance (a globally recognized counter-terrorism expert and Intelligence Community member) had written that when “Reince Priebus had reportedly contacted the deputy director of the FBI,” the real story that week was about “Trump, Russia and the FBI.” The rest, Malcolm said, was a distraction.
Indeed, there is little doubt that Nunes’ actions – from cancelling the open hearing meeting to the Great Distraction – are diverting attention away from the real story: Trump, Russia and the FBI.
To that end, I cannot recommend enough that readers take the time to read the long piece by Russ Baker, C. Collins and Jonathan Z. Larsen, “Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia,” published by WhoWhatWhy on March 27, 2017.
This article should be read, bookmarked and printed out for future reference. I suspect that the information in this article will be a key component in the history of Trump’s predictable and eventual downfall.
[Jeremy Bash’s relevant quote begins shortly after the 12:10 mark]
On YouTube: “Adam Schiff Tells Chairman Devin Nunes To Recuse Himself From Russia Probe | The 11th Hour | MSNBC” – YouTube (14:15) published by MSNBC on March 28, 2017
For further reading see:
“How Devin Nunes is threatening the Constitution,” by David Corn, Mother Jones; March 29, 2017
“Devin Nunes Could Be Facing an Ethics Probe for Spilling Secrets,” by Tim Mak, The Daily Beast; March 28, 2017
“Paul Ryan Commits a Crime against America by Helping Trump with Russia Cover-Up,” by Jason Easley, Politics USA; March 28, 2017
“Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia,” published by WhoWhatWhy on March 27, 2017
“Nunes’ House Intel Committee Cancels Hearings This Week to Silence Sally Yates,” by Hrafnkell Haraldsson, Politics USA; March 28, 2017
“Trump administration sought to block Sally Yates from testifying to Congress on Russia,” by Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous, Washington Post; March 28, 2017
“Devin Nunes canceled Russia hearings to keep Sally Yates from testifying: ex-CIA and Defense official,” by Travis Gettys, Raw Story; March 28, 2017
“GOP cover-up: Sally Yates determined to testify despite WH attempts to silence her,” by Leah McElrath, Shareblue; March 28, 2017
“Trump pressures House Intelligence Committee to probe the Clintons’ ties to Russia, not his,” by Philip Rucker, Washington Post; March 27, 2017
“Panicked Devin Nunes cancels Sally Yates public testimony on Donald Trump and Russia,” by Bill Palmer, Palmer Report; March 24, 2017
“Why the hell didn’t Sally Yates testify at today’s Trump-Russia hearings as expected?” by Bill Palmer, Palmer Report; March 20, 2017
“House Intel schedules first Russia hearing for March 20,” by Tom LoBianco and Ted Barrett, CNN; March 7, 2017
“No, over there! Our case-by-case guide to the Trump distraction technique,” by Adam Gabbat, The Guardian; March 21, 2017
“The story of the week is Trump, Russia and the FBI. The rest is a distraction,” by Malcom Nance, The Guardian; February 25, 2017
“Malcolm Nance Says Trump aides ‘Need to Start Getting Lawyers and Cutting Deals,’” by Hrafnkell Haraldsson, Politics USA; February 15, 2017
“Trump fires acting AG Sally Yates after she declines to defend travel ban,” by Evan Perez and Jeremy Diamond, CNN; January 30, 2017
“California Rep. Devin Nunes named to Trump’s transition team,” by Sarah D. Wire, LA Times; November 11, 2016