Yesterday’s senate hearings into the Russian-hacking scandal revealed just one thing to me:
Sally Yates has high political aspirations.
The rumor is that she may be a top Democrat player for governor of Georgia in the 2018 race as Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) completes his second term.
On multiple occasions, Yates was asked about the presence of evidence that showed collusion with Russia by Trump-campaign officials (including ousted former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn). Her standard answer those questions is that she couldn’t answer because it would require her to reveal classified information. Why would saying “yes” or “no” reveal anything classified?
Former Director of National Intelligence (also at the same hearing with Yates), James Clapper has already answered that question revealing that there is no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.
Communication is not collusion.
Yates answers were framed to infer that the presence of some additional information exists.
She seemed to infer that by revealing the answer to a closed-end question, she would be revealing classified information. “No” is not classifed; “Yes” is. She was pressed several times by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and she finally added that by saying “I can’t answer…” that
does “not mean the answer is yes.”
On several occasions it seemed obvious that Yates wanted to leave the audience with the impression that there was more data implicating Gen. Flynn in Russian Collusion without saying as much. There were also moments where the body language and facial expressions of Clapper indicated he was puzzled by her answers or unwillingness to reveal further details.
Near the end of the questioning, Clapper paused on several occasions, deferring to Yates to answer before offering his answer to a same question. Earlier, he had given direct answers to questions that Yates was unwilling to answer.
One thing became very clear: Clapper wanted to answer as many questions as he possibly could and go home. He referred to himself as a “private citizen.”
Yates clearly has something else in mind.
She made a weak argument to questions by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) about her refusal to support President Trump’s immigration ban (executive order) that led to her removal as acting attorney general. She called the statute that allows the president to place a ban on immigration “archaic” and then argued it was “unlawful.”
She appeared blinded by the politics of the Pres. Obama era where his officials self-righteously acted as prosecutor, judge and jury in contrast to upholding existing laws. If they believed the laws were unjust, they saw no need to change them. They broke them.
In nearly every exchange, Yates appeared to be on a job interview, leaving enough doubt and interest to hope for a second interview which would surely be broadcast live to a national audience.
After all, Democrats have learned how to gain national attention by opposing Trump. In doing so, you become flush with cash. Look no further than Georgia’s 6th district congressional race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (R-GA).
It was called ‘the race that would serve as a referendum on Trump.’ It’s now known as the most expensive race for Congress in U.S. history. Even one local news channel has bumped reruns of ‘Andy Griffith’ to add another half-hour of news in order to have room for all the campaign ads.
Yates is back in Atlanta and she likely wants to be governor of Georgia. These hearings are her cattle-call to donors for 2018. She’s hoping for a few more.
That’s why Monday’s hearings were meaningless for everyone except for Yates.
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