Yeomans: Trump Just Keeps Making Trouble for Himself
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2018 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Goldfarb Fellow for Justice Bill Yeomans notes that just as the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee moved to shut down its Russia probe, President Trump cooked up more controversy for the administration by firing his Secretary of State and teeing up two nominations with the potential to embarrass the White House. Writes Yeomans:
“Trump compounded his coming difficulties by announcing the nominations of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson and CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to replace Pompeo. By choosing his Secretary of State nominee from within the administration, he assured two difficult confirmations as the Mueller investigation intensifies and the midterm elections loom.
“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Chair Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) will conduct Pompeo’s confirmation hearing. Corker, a one-time critic and now buddy of Trump, will have discretion to conduct the hearing as a broad inquiry into Pompeo’s activities as part of the Trump administration, including whether Trump requested that Pompeo weigh in with Comey on the Russia investigation. Pompeo has spent considerable time at the White House and has processed massive amounts of intelligence, much of which will contribute to oversight of the CIA and might shed light on matters under investigation, if Corker allows it.”
Meanwhile, Haspel is a career CIA officer who oversaw a “black site” in which prisoners were tortured. Yeomans notes that Trump endorsed torture while on the campaign trail. “Haspel’s nomination will be a test of where the country stands now,” he writes.