Today's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing far exceeded my expectations. As expected, GOP tried to deflect, distract and deny any collusion by diverting attention to leaks and the Muslim Ban. This time, though, even their attempts fell flat. Partly because they had two exceptional witnesses providing testimony that are adept at staying on topic and who weren't able to be rattled or side tracked, In fact, Sally Yates OWNED Cruz, Cornyn and others at various points, rattling each of them with her poise.
One of my favorite points, which wasn't so much a back and forth as it was a stream of consciousness ending with a joke, was midway.
It is absolutely worth a watch, mainly because the transcript doesn't do Senator Franken's delivery justice.
If you want to read along:
Franken: It seems -- all this seems odd to me and raises a lot of questions.I was struck that Mr. McGahn did not -- ask you in the second meeting, why... the national security adviser had lied to the Vice President.
Yates: Certainly we went through all of our concerns in the first meeting. and it was in the second meeting that he raised the question of essentially why is this an issue for the department of justice if one white house officials lies to another?
Franken: Okay. I don't understand why he didn't understand that.
Yates: I'm not sure I can help you with that, Senator.
Franken: General Flynn after that for 18 days stayed...in one classified thing after another. There are policies that deal with who gets clearance, security clearance and not. Executive order 12968 outlets the rules for security clearances and says when there is a credible allegation that is raises concern about someone's fitness to access classified information that person's clearance should be suspended pending investigation. Is that right? The executive order also states that clearance must always demonstrate "trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion and sound judgment, as well as freedom from allegations and potential for coercion." Is that right? And yet the White House counsel did not understand why the Department of Justice was concerned?
EXACTLY. Why the hell didn't he care? Because maybe they knew.
Franken's ending is well worth watching. He basically talks for a good minute, minute and a half. Ends with a fantastic attempt to throw a question at Sally Yates, which she expertly deflects.