Read the letters on Sally Yates's potential congressional testimony on Russia

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates was notified earlier this month by the Justice Department that the Trump administration considers a great deal of her possible testimony to be barred from discussion in the House intelligence Committee's investigation between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, according to a series of letters reviewed by The Post. Trump administration sought to block Sally Yates from testifying to Congress on Russia

Debevoise Debevoise Plimpton LLP

. 801 Avenue, N.W.
Impton Washington. D.C. 20004

+1 202 383 8000

March 24, 2017

Donald F. McGahn II

Assistant to the President and White House Counsel
The White House

1600 Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. McGahn:

I represent Sally Quillian Yates and write in reference to the attached
correspondence.

Ms. Yates has been invited to testify before the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The Committee has indicated that its
investigation will cover topics including the following: ?Russian cyber activities
directed against the US. election, potential links between Russia and individuals
associated with political campaigns, the US. Government?s response to these
Russian active measures, and related leaks of classi?ed information.?

In addition, Committee staff has informed me that questioning will focus on
January 2017 communications regarding concerns about the conduct of a senior
White House of?cial.

As I have informed the Committee and the Department of Justice, Ms. Yates
is willing to appear voluntarily with two other former intelligence of?cials. In
answering the Committee?s questions, Ms. Yates obviously will not disclose any
classi?ed information, nor will she provide any information that she believes could
interfere with any ongoing criminal or intelligence investigations.

In the attached correspondence to the Department of Justice, I indicated that
Ms. Yates is not, and should not be, obligated on privilege or other grounds to refuse
to provide non?classi?ed facts about the Department?s noti?cation to the White
House of concerns about the conduct of a senior White House of?cial. I noted
further that requiring Ms. Yates to refuse to provide such information is particularly
untenable given that multiple current senior administration of?cials have publicly
described the same events.

Donald F. McGahn II 2 March 24, 2017

The Department of Justice indicated in the attached response that any
con?dentiality equity in this information belongs to the President and that Ms. Yates
does not need separate consent from the Department.

It is unclear whether the presidential communications or deliberative process
privileges could apply to the referenced information. In any event, any claim of
privilege has been waived as a result of the multiple public comments of current
senior White House of?cials describing the January 2017 communications.
Nevertheless, I am advising the White House of Ms. Yates? intention to provide
information in the manner described above.

If I do not receive a response by Monday, March 27, at 10 am EDT, I will
conclude that the White House does not assert executive privilege over these matters
with respect to the hearing or other settings.

Regards,

A. w:

David A. O'Neil

Enclosures

De bevoi SE Debevoise Plimpton LLP

- 801 Avenue. N.W.
Impton Washington. D.C. 20004

+1 202 333 8000

March 23, 2017

Samuel R. Ramer

Acting Assistant Attorney General
US. Department of Justice

Of?ce of Legislative Affairs

Main Justice Building, Room 1145
950 Avenue, NW.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Ramer:

I represent Sally Quillian Yates in connection with the attached letter from
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) inviting Ms. Yates
to testify at a public hearing on March 28, 2017.

As you know, Ms. Yates served the Department of Justice with distinction for
over twenty seven years, rising through the ranks from Assistant United States
Attorney to First Assistant United States Attorney, and then to United States
Attorney, Deputy Attorney General, and most recently Acting Attorney General.
Throughout her career, Ms. Yates has unfailingly honored her professional and
ethical responsibilities.

The Committee has indicated that the hearing will cover topics including the
following: ?Russian cyber activities directed against the US. election, potential links
between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, the US
Government?s response to these Russian active measures, and related leaks of
classified information.? In addition, Committee staff has indicated that questioning
will focus on January 2017 communications regarding concerns about the conduct of
a senior government of?cial.

As communicated to Committee staff, Ms. Yates is willing to appear
voluntarily at the hearing on a panel with two other former intelligence officials. In
answering the Committee?s questions, Ms. Yates obviously will not disclose any
classi?ed information, nor will she provide any information that she believes could
interfere with any ongoing criminal or intelligence investigations.

Samuel R. Ramer 2 March 23, 2017

The Department of Justice has advised that it believes there are further
constraints on the testimony Ms. Yates may provide at the HPSCI hearing.
Generally, we understand that the Department takes the position that all information
Ms. Yates received or actions she took in her capacity as Deputy Attorney General
and Acting Attorney General are client con?dences that she may not disclose absent
written consent of the Department.

We believe that the Department?s position in this regard is overbroad,
incorrect, and inconsistent with the Department?s historical approach to the
congressional testimony of current and former senior of?cials. In particular, we
believe that Ms. Yates should not be obligated to refuse to provide non-classi?ed
facts about the Department?s noti?cation to the White House of concerns about the
conduct of a senior of?cial. Requiring Ms. Yates to refuse to provide such
information is particularly untenable given that multiple senior administration
of?cials have publicly described the same events.

In light of those public statements, it is unclear what con?dentiality interests
the Department believes may still exist concerning these events. To the extent the

Department believes that consent is necessary to permit Ms. Yates to testify in the
manner described above, we are hereby requesting it.

Regards,

?g 11. MAO

David A. O'Neil

Enclosure

UNCLASSIFIED
. "in" us. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 53:32

l2021225~4121

ON

Mimi

March 14,2017

The Honorable Sally Yates

c/o David A. O?Neil

Debevoise Plimpton

80] Avenue NW.
Washington, DC. 20004

Dear Ms. Yates:

As part of its bipartisan, ongoing investigation into the Russian active measures
campaign targeting the 2016 US. election, the louse Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence invites you to testify at an open hearing beginning at l0:00 am. on Tuesday, March
28, 2017.

The hearing may cover any topic within the publicly-announced parameters of the
Committee's investigation. including Russian eyber activities directed against the US. election,
potential links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, the US.
Government?s response to these Russian active measures, and related leaks of classi?ed
information.

Please let the Committee know if you plan to participate no later than Friday, March 11?,
2911. If you are able to attend, we will follow up with additional details regarding the location
and format of the hearing. If you have any questions regarding this invitation, please contact
Committee staff.

Sincerely,

fl"

r"
.. -/r.37/m Maw-g:

Devin Nunes Adam Schiff
Chairman Ranking Member

UNCLASSIFIED

U.S. Department of Justice

91,9337
saw? - .
Of?ce of the Deputy Attorney General

Washington, DC 20530

March 24, 2017

Mr. David A. O?Neil, Esq.
Debevoise Plimpton LLP

801 Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

Re: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence request for testimony from
former Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates

Dear Mr. O?Neil:

This responds to your letter of March 23, 2017, to Acting Assistant Attorney General
Sam Ramer regarding the invitation of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
(HPSCI) to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates to testify at a public hearing on
March 28,2017.

In particular, your letter pertains to Ms. Yates?s potential disclosure to HPSCI of ?non-
classi?ed facts about the Department?s noti?cation to the White House of concerns about the
conduct of a senior official.? We appreciate your meeting at the Department on March 23, 2017,
to provide additional information about the details of these communications with the White
House that you believe may be responsive to Committee inquiries.

Ms. Yates seeks authorization to testify about communications she and a senior
Department of?cial had with the Of?ce of the Counsel to the President. Such communications
are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege and possibly the deliberative
process privilege. The President owns those privileges. Therefore, to the extent Ms. Yates needs
consent to disclose the details of those communications to HPSCI, she needs to consult with the
White House. She need not obtain separate consent from the Department.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Sine ely, {z

Schools
Associate Deputy Attorney General