Former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates is set to deliver her bombshell testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee May 8.
The topic of the Senate hearing revolves around “Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election,” and she will answer to many questions about exactly what connections former national security advisor Michael T. Flynn had to Russia.
Sally was fired by Trump just over one week into his presidency after she disagreed with him and his immigration executive order.
Sally is married to Comer Yates, a longtime lawyer and teacher who ran for public office and now serves as the director of a speech school.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Comer Ran For Congress Twice, But Lost Both Times
Comer had a desire to run for public office back in the mid 1990s.
He first ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 4th congressional district in 1994, but lost to Republican Rep. John Linder.
Comer tried to win the seat again, this time against Democrat Rep. Cynthia McKinney in 1996. He said at the time that his campaign strategy shouldn’t just be to frustrate Republican Newt Gingrich, who served as a representative in Georgia’s 6th district for 20 years (1979-1999).
“If our purpose is simply to annoy Newt Gingrich, I think that’s going to fall short with the American people,” he said in a 1996 New York Times article. “They’re tired of both parties’ rhetoric and overheated shouting back and forth.”
But Comer struggled to gain important endorsements and ended up losing to McKinney in the race.
One of those was the support of Bill Campbell, who served as Atlanta’s mayor from January 1994 until January 2002. An article said that Comer had asked Campbell to support him in his bid for office, but the mayor instead supported McKinney.
“Had Campbell supported Yates, the outcome of that race might well have turned out differently,” a 2001 article by Creative Loafing said.
However, it later surfaced that Campbell had avoided federal taxes and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined over $6,000 for the evasion.
2. Comer Is The Executive Director of a Speech School
Comer serves as the executive director for the Atlanta Speech School and has done so ever since 1998.
The school offers children — and adults — in the Atlanta area with speech, language and learning disabilities an opportunity to acquire and grow their language and literacy skills.
“If I act like we run this tense, businesslike operation, we mask what we try to be as a school,” Yates said to Emory Magazine in 2012. “So I try to reflect the qualities that we have here in my relationships with people.”
The school was formed in 1938 and is largely considered the nation’s “most comprehensive center for language and literacy.”
Atlanta Speech School is composed of four schools and five clinics in total. That includes a magnitude of summer programs and a professional development center. The school’s mission statement revolves around making children more confident and better speakers to enhance their lives.
To work within each program and collaborate across all programs to help each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy.
Comer has often gone around the nation delivering speeches on literacy and speaking.
3. Comer Donated Thousands of Dollars to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaigns
An article by The Washington Examiner just one day after Sally was let go as acting attorney general revealed that her husband was one of Obama’s “top donors.”
The report said that Comer gave $3,355 between both of Obama’s presidential campaign.
The Yates family is quite wealthy, too. In Sally’s most recent financial disclosure statement, she reported owning stock shares worth over $1.5 million in a number of companies, including Coca-Cola and Equifax.
4. Comer Is Also an Attorney & Was a Teacher For 2 Decades
Aside from his aspirations for political office and his current role as the director of the Atlanta Speech School, Comer also holds a law degree and spent time as a high school teacher.
He graduated from Emory University in Atlanta in 1974 and then went on to be a high school teacher. While doing that, Comer earned his law degree and also taught at Emory’s School of Law as adjunct faculty.
Comer taught at Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School in Atlanta for almost 20 years and led the mock trial team at the school. For his service to the community, he received the 11Alive Community Service Award and was appointed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in 2012 to serve on the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons.
Comer will be presented an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on May 13 at Oglethorpe University during its spring commencement ceremony. He will address the graduating class and his honorary degree will be presented by Sally.
“Comer Yates is a true champion of education and literacy, leading efforts to positively impact the lives and well-being of children in Georgia and beyond,” said Oglethorpe President Schall in a news release. “We share a commitment to ensuring that our younger generations and future leaders have the tools to allow them to succeed and thrive, in turn strengthening our entire community.”
5. Sally & Comer Have 2 College-Aged Children
Comer and Sally still reside in the Atlanta area have have two children together.
They have a daughter named Kelley and a son named Quill, both who are in their 20s. Kelley is following in Comer’s footsteps and pursuing a career as a special education teacher while Quill is still in college and studies political science and environmental policy.
When Sally was appointed as the acting deputy attorney in 2015, she said in a press release issued by the Department of Justice that she has been thrilled to have her family’s immense support throughout her career.
“It is particularly meaningful for me to appear before you today surrounded by my family –- my husband Comer, my daughter Kelley and my son Quill,” she said. “I am not only grateful to all of them for their love and support, but I am also incredibly proud of each of them.’
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