The White House says it has “no problem” with former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testifying before a House committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Spokesman Sean Spicer says the White House did not try to block Yates’ testimony. He pointed to a March 24 letter from Yates’ attorney, in which the attorney says that if the White House does not respond by a deadline, Yates will consider that to mean that the White House is not trying to invoke executive privilege, which would limit what she could disclose.
Spicer says the White House did not respond to the letter. He says the White House has “no problem with her testifying, plain and simple.”
This week’s hearing at which Yates was expected to testify has been canceled.
A lawyer for former deputy attorney general Sally Yates says in letters last week that the Trump administration had moved to squelch her testimony in a hearing about Russian meddling in the presidential election.
In the letters, attorney David O’Neil said he understood the Justice Department was invoking “further constraints” on testimony she could provide at a House intelligence committee hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday. He said the department’s position was that all actions she took as deputy attorney general were “client confidences” that could not be disclosed without written approval.
The Washington Post first reported the letters. A person familiar with the situation confirmed them as authentic to The Associated Press.
The White House called the Post story “entirely false.”