Ted Cruz Grills Sally Yates After Saying Obama Admin Was Not Surveilling Trump's Campaign

Posted: Aug 05, 2020 3:10 PM
Ted Cruz Grills Sally Yates After Saying Obama Admin Was Not Surveilling Trump's Campaign

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) grilled former Attorney General Sally Yates during her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Cruz stepped up his questions after Yates said the Obama administration was not surveilling President Trump's 2016 campaign.

"Ms. Yates, when did you first become aware that the Obama Administration was surveilling the Donald Trump campaign?" Cruz asked.

"The Obama Administration was not surveilling the Donald Trump campaign," Yates replied.

"So a FISA application is not surveillance," Cruz followed up.

Yates said the FISA warrants were for Carter Page who was no longer a member of the Trump campaign.

"So your testimony is that the investigation into Carter Page had nothing to do with the Donald Trump campaign? Cruz asked.

"No, you asked me if we were surveilling the campaign...," Yates began to respond.

"You don't get it both ways. Is it the campaign or not?" Cruz interjected.

"Senator, I’m trying to give you what is the accurate information here. Carter Page was a former member of the Trump campaign at the time that the FISA was initiated," Yates said, adding the reason for the FISA warrants were started for a "number of reasons. First, we had gotten information...that the Russians had made the overture that they wanted to be able to assist the Trump campaign."

"Now hold on, you said it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign," Cruz said. 

"I said that he was not a member of the Trump campaign at the time that we initiated the FISA," Yates replied.

Yates told the Judiciary Committee she would not have signed off on the FISA applications if she had known they did not meet the required standards. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has also said the same thing.

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"I seem to detect a pattern here. Ms. Yates, she testifies she had no idea what her deputy was doing as he facilitates contact between political party opposition research and the FBI," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) stated. "She has no idea that these applications that signed materially misled a federal court, just as [Rod] Rosenstein said he had no idea. Nobody appears to know anything in this government and yet somehow a federal court was deliberately and systemically misled so severely that they now say they can’t trust anything the FBI did. If this does not call for a cleaning of house at DOJ and the FBI, I don’t know what is."