Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and her top lieutenant, Principal Assistant Deputy Attorney General Matthew Axelrod, refused to answer questions this week about whether they tried to squelch an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation during the final months of the 2016 campaign.
Ms. Yates was hosting a conference Thursday at Georgetown Law School urging the public and the media to do more to hold President Trump accountable, and Mr. Axelrod was a panelist for the conference, titled “Democracy in the Balance: The Essential Role of Democratic Institutions & Norms.”
When this reporter approached Mr. Yates, who served as the No. 2 official at the Obama Justice Department, she recoiled at questions about her handling of investigations into the Clinton Foundation. She had a Georgetown media representative intervene to head off further inquiries, saying all interview requests had to go through the school.
Once the media representative was in between Ms. Yates and the reporter, the former deputy attorney general briskly fled the other way, ignoring the reporter’s entreaties about the value of a free press in democracy.
Ms. Yates oversaw the work of Mr. Axelrod during the 2016 election season, at a time when a top FBI official thought he was trying to pressure them to back off of the investigation into the foundation run by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s family.