Sally Yates' Opening Statement Transcript Reminds Senators Of The Limits Of Her Testimony

While testifying on Monday about Russia and Michael Flynn, Sally Yates' opening statement during her testimony went straight to the point. According to a CNN transcript, the former attorney general noted that while her testimony would be limited by the classified nature of information, she remained committed to highlighting the perils that foreign interference posed for the future of American democracy.

According to NBC News, Yates claimed that she had delivered information about Flynn and Russia to White House counsel Don McGahn as early as February. In her opening statement, Yates reminded the senators that she cannot address certain classified information "in this public setting, either directly or indirectly." She added, "My duty to protect classified information applies just as much to me as a former official as it did when I left the department."

Yates' testimony before the Senate subcommittee was a long-awaited continuation of the investigation into Donald Trump's ties to Russia. On Monday morning, Trump tweeted about Yates in what possibly amounted to a threat. "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to [White House] Counsel," the president posted on Twitter.

In addition to becoming media's focal point due to the controversy with the former national security advisor, Yates became a household name after she opposed Trump's travel ban as acting attorney general. And prior to the testimony on Monday, Yates was backed by thousands on Twitter who gathered under the hashtag #SallyYatesIsAPatriot to highlight her contribution in standing up for accountability and fairness.

Yates' opening statement touched upon Russia, foreign interference, and its dangers for democracy. Her full opening statement read:

Due to professional and legal obligations to treat classified information with utmost sensitivity, Yates declined to answer certain questions.