The House Intelligence Committee has invited former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to testify on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in a public hearing next month.
On Friday, the panel said that it sent a letter inviting the former Obama administration officials on Thursday to an open hearing that would be scheduled after May 2. The committee also said it sent a letter Thursday to FBI Director James Comey and National Security Adviser Admiral Mike Rogers to testify at a closed hearing on May 2.
These hearings are the first scheduled since Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, recused himself from the Russia investigation earlier this month. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, has taken over in the meantime and the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, told “CBS This Morning this week that the probe is “back on track” after Nunes, he said, “cast a real cloud over the committee.”
In late March, the committee cancelled a second public hearing on Russia’s interference and Schiff suggested that it had something to do with former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ scheduled testimony before the panel. Schiff suggested that the initial hearing his committee held, which was unfavorable to the administration, might have also played a role in the cancellation of the second hearing, which was also supposed to include testimony from former Clapper and Brennan.
This comes after Reuters reported this week that a Russian government think tank controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared the framework for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It developed a plan to swing the election in favor of President Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the election process, the report said.