Ashcroft on Yates Hearing: Why Was a Crime Masked?

By CongressFOXBusiness

John Ashcroft: Yates wasn't going to give the president his day in court

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft on former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and allegations Russia tried to influence the US presidential election.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft says testimony by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which focused on the events leading to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, diverts attention away from discovering who broke the law by making the story public.

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“So, you have this hysteria about maybe Russians were involved in some way trying to upset our election or to influence our election, masking the problem that a crime was committed when people improperly leaked the identity of someone whose information was gained as a result of a surveillance.”

In an interview with the FOX Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, Ashcroft said there's little left to explore regarding Flynn. “The hearing regarding Flynn’s remarks and the conflict between what he said in one setting and what the Vice President was saying he said later on, that’s really not in much dispute. I think that everyone is agreed about that."

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But Ashcroft says the fact that a criminal act was committed deserves attention, while meddling by countries in overseas elections is hardly new. “The idea that we are shocked that someone would seek to influence our elections is a little bit naïve.”

Ashcroft says Yates, who was fired after refusing to defend President Trump's travel ban, tried to hold the president to a different legal standard than anyone else. “Ms. Yates decided to become the Supreme Court, not the Attorney General.  She decided what was going to be constitutional and unconstitutional and she looked beyond the order which had been crafted,” Ashcroft said. “You know, we have a principal in the United States, that everyone is entitled to his day in court.  But according to Ms. Yates, it must be that everyone except the President of the United States is entitled to his day in court.”

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