Senator Ted Cruz is now following Cornyn's lead, attacking Yates for not defending Trump's unconstitutional travel ban. Taking up time here, deflecting from the discussion at hand.
Yates answers well, pointing out the illegality of barring individuals based on their religion or place of origin. Cruz isn't letting up though - he's prepared quite a framework for wasting time.
Durbin ticks off all the different official activities of Flynn during the 18 days between the Trump Administration’s notification of Flynn’s deceit and his actual firing. There may be a big piece here - if it is concluded that the White House fully knew that the NSC advisor was compromised, and yet permitted the individual to continue in this capacity, heads could roll.
Cornyn veers off course and attacks Yates on not defending Trump illegal travel ban. The moment is quite heated, and it appears that the Republican congressman is using the public hearing to distract from the overarching conversation on the Trump Administration's apparent incompetence and/or corruption.
Yates said that her number one reason for brining forth Flynn's deception relating to meeting with Russian officials was the potential for the national security advisor being compromised and could be "blackmailed by the Russians."
Live stream of the Yates/Clapper hearing below:
Graham transitions quickly to the big question: what did Yates tell the Trump Administration?
Yates says that she passed on information so that Trump could "take action," and without any other motive.
Trump lashing out at Yates before the hearing is telling. If there was absolutely nothing amiss with the Trump team’s approach to Flynn (save gross incompetence) what does the White House stand to lose from Yates’ testimony?
In addition to a warning passed from Yates onto the Trump team before her dismissal, it has now emerged that outgoing President Obama also warned Trump personally about Michael Flynn, though the warning appears to relate primarily to Flynn’s temperament and not his relations to Russian agents.
Trump launched a tweet challenging senators to ask Yates under oath about leaks relating Michael Flynn's deception over communications with Russian agents during and after the presidential election.
It has since been deleted.
Thanks for joining our rolling coverage of today's hearing before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee. With Senator Lindsay Graham presiding, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will speak on Russia's influence on the 2016 election, with special attention paid to former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn.