Sally Yates to testify: Former Acting Attorney General will give evidence in Trump-Russia probe

Agency
Ms Yates had said she was willing to appear before a congressional committee: AP

The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has invited former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to testify as it restarts its investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

After stalling over the committee chairman's ties to Donald Trump's White House and disagreements over who should testify, the bipartisan committee has sent two letters inviting a number of FBI, NSA and Obama administration officials, including Yates, to appear behind closed doors on May 2.

The planned hearings are the first the committee has announced since its chairman, Republican Representative Devin Nunes, recused himself from the Russia investigation on April 6 after receiving information at the White House about surveillance that swept up some information about members of Trump's transition team.

Echoing Trump, Nunes suggested that Obama's administration had handled that information incorrectly.

Nunes remains the committee's chairman.

FBI director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers testified in a public hearing on March 20. At that hearing, Comey confirmed for the first time that the FBI was investigating possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia as Moscow sought to influence the election.

Nunes was a supporter of Trump's campaign and a member of his transition team. His decision two days after the public hearing to hold a press conference about the information and discuss it with Trump before disclosing it to Democrats raised questions about whether he could lead a credible investigation.

Committee Democrats also were angered when Nunes scrapped a scheduled public hearing with Yates. A planned closed hearing with Comey and Rogers also was put off.

The House panel is examining whether Russia tried to influence the election in Trump's favour, mostly by hacking Democratic operatives' emails and releasing embarrassing information, or possibly by colluding with Trump associates.

Russia denies the allegations, which Trump also dismisses.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting a separate, similar investigation.

Senate investigators currently are interviewing analysts and intelligence agents who prepared public and classified reports in January that concluded that Russia had interfered in last year's election on Trump's behalf, an official familiar with the congressional activity said.

At this point they are a long way from scheduling interviews or hearings with any principal witnesses from either the Obama or Trump administrations, the official said.

Reuters

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