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J. David Ake / AP

The White House reportedly attempted to block former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired early on in the Trump administration, from testifying about ties between Trump campaign officials and Russia, the Washington Post reports.

Recently obtained letters reveal that the Department of Justice told Yates earlier this month that the administration was invoking its "presidential communication privilege" to prevent her from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. The move came after Yates' attorney sent a letter stating that she was willing to testify, and would avoid discussing classified information that could compromise investigations. The letter was shared with the Intel Committee. The next day committee chairman Devin Nunes canceled the hearing altogether.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Yates had warned the White House that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail due to his false accounts of his contact with the Russian ambassador.

Sean Spicer has called the report "entirely false": "The White House has taken no action to prevent Sally Yates from testifying and the Department of Justice specifically told her that it would not stop her and to suggest otherwise is completely irresponsible."

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.

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