"The first letter was sent to FBI Director James Comey and National Security Advisor Admiral Mike Rogers, inviting them to appear at a closed hearing on May 2, 2017," the statement read. "The second letter was sent to former CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates inviting them to appear at an open hearing to be scheduled after May 2nd."
The letters appear to mark the end of an impasse that emerged late last month, when the committee's chairman, Devin Nunes, accused Democrats of not signing a letter inviting Comey to testify before the committee in a closed session. Democrats said they did not support substituting an open hearing with a closed one and had been pushing to reschedule the open session with Yates, Brennan, and Clapper that Nunes had scrapped.
"The chairman requested that in lieu of a public hearing we have a closed hearing with James Comey and Mike Rogers," Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the committee, told Business Insider late last month. "I did not support having one substitute for another."
In the end, the committee agreed to hold both the closed session with Comey and Rogers that Republicans wanted and the open hearing with Yates, Brennan, and Clapper that Democrats advocated.
The compromise is arguably a bigger victory for the Democrats, however, who have been eager to publicly question Yates about her knowledge of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's relationship with Russia.
Yates was fired as acting attorney general after refusing to enforce Trump's first executive order on immigration in late January. Earlier that month, she reportedly traveled to the White House to warn Trump administration officials that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
Interest in Yates' testimony grew even more last month after The Washington Post reported that the White House had tried to prevent her from testifying publicly. The White House has denied the charge.
Brennan has also come back into the spotlight recently amid reports that he established a counterintelligence task force last summer to examine whether the Trump campaign had improper contact with the Kremlin. The investigation was based on intelligence that was handed to the CIA by foreign intelligence agencies beginning in late 2015, The Guardian reported earlier this month.
Clapper's testimony, meanwhile, will be of interest to those who feel that Trump's Russia ties have been overblown. The former director of national intelligence told MSNBC's Chuck Todd in early March that he had seen "no evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Nunes a few weeks ago stepped aside from the committee's investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. He handed the probe over to Conaway in early April amid questions about his ability to lead an unbiased investigation.
Nunes, who served on Trump's transition team, came under intense scrutiny last month for his decision to bypass the rest of his committee and brief Trump on classified executive-branch documents that he said showed that members of Trump's transition team had been swept up in government surveillance.
Reports have said he obtained those documents from White House officials — despite Nunes' earlier claims that he got them from an intelligence source — fueling speculation that administration officials had orchestrated the stunt to distract the press from Comey's revelation that the FBI was investigating whether various Trump associates had ties to Russia.
The committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, criticized Nunes for bypassing the committee, calling on him to either share the documents with his colleagues or recuse himself.
"I don't know how to conduct a credible investigation if you have even one person, let alone the chairman, of a committee saying, 'I've seen evidence, but I won't share it with anyone else,'" Schiff told CNN late last month. "We can't conduct an investigation this way. That's not sustainable. It's not credible."
Donald Trump's Latest Approval Ratings In Election Swing States Show How Unpopular He Really Is (Newsweek link): It's no secret President Donald Trump's approval rating on the national level has been relatively low his entire tenure in the White House. But polls show he's also struggling to garner support in the swing states that won him the 2016 presidential election over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Roughly 41.9 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance, compared with 52.3 percent who disapprove, according to the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of polls. Polls from swing states similarly show Trump's approval rating under water, making him the least popular newly elected president in decades.
A March survey of Wisconsin found 41 percent of registered voters approved of his job performance while 47 percent disapproved. A February poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College found just 32 percent of voters in Pennsylvania approved of Trump's job performance. An EPIC MRA survey the same month pegged his support in Michigan at 40 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. In Ohio, a March Baldwin Wallace University poll found 49 percent of the state viewed the president unfavorably, while 46 percent viewed him favorably.
And it goes on. In North Carolina, which Trump won narrowly, his approval rating stood at just 36 percent earlier this month, according to a High Point University poll. Fifty-four percent disapproved. In Florida, a large, key state that helped hand Trump the win, his approval stood at just 34 percent with two-thirds of the state disapproving, according to a February survey by Florida Atlantic University. A poll later in February by Associated Industries of Florida did find that 81 percent of Republicans approved of Trump's job performance.