It looks like House Democrats just won a big victory in the Trump-Russia investigation

The House Intelligence Committee announced on Friday that it had extended invitations to three former officials with knowledge of Russia's interference in the US election to testify in an open hearing in May, over a month after the committee's chairman first scrapped the session.

"Yesterday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sent two letters related to its investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign," Emily Hytha, a spokesperson for Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, wrote on Friday.

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"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," Hytha wrote. "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 2."

RELATED: Key players in Trump-Russia connection allegations

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Key players in Trump-Russia connection allegations
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Key players in Trump-Russia connection allegations

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort signed on as Donald Trump's campaign manager in March 2016. A longtime Republican strategist and beltway operative, Manafort had previously served as an adviser to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich -- a pro-Russia leader who was violently ousted in 2014. Manafort resigned from his campaign position in August 2016 amid questions over his lobbying history in Ukraine for an administration supportive of Russia. The former campaign manager reportedly remained in Trump's circle during the post-election transition period.

Michael Flynn

Gen. Michael Flynn was named President Trump's national security adviser in November of 2016. Flynn reportedly met and spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, at one point discussing sanctions. Flynn originally told Vice President Pence he did not discuss sanctions -- a point the Department of Justice said made the national security adviser subject to blackmail. Flynn resigned from his position in February.

Sergey Kislyak

Outgoing Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak is the Russian official U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions -- communication Sessions denied during his Senate committee hearing testimony.

Roger Stone

Stone is a longtime Republican political consultant who served as a campaign adviser to Trump who continued to talk with the then-GOP candidate after stepping away from his adviser role. Stone claimed last year that he had knowledge of the planned WikiLeaks release of emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Stone recently admitted to speaking via direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" -- an online entity U.S. officials believe is tied to Russia. Stone says the correspondence was “completely innocuous.”

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016. Sessions was nominated to be U.S. attorney general by President Trump and was then confirmed by the Senate. Reports then emerged that Sessions had spoken twice with Sergey Kislyak while he was senator -- a fact that he left out of his Senate hearing testimony. Instead, he said in writing that he had not communicated with any Russian officials during the campaign season. Sessions defended himself saying he had spoken with Kislyak specifically in a senate capacity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The American intelligence community accused Putin in Jan. 2017 of ordering a campaign to undermine trust in the American electoral process, developing a clear preference for Trump as president. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump," the report read.

James Comey

Comey publicly confirmed in March an FBI inquiry into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. “The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” Comey stated.

Carter Page

Page worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker out of their Moscow office for three years before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser. During his time with Merrill Lynch, Page advised transactions for two major Russian entities. Page has called Washington "hypocritical" for focusing on corruption and democratization in addressing U.S. relations with Russia. While Page is someone Trump camp has seemingly tried to distance itself from, Page recently said he has made frequent visits to Trump Tower.

J.D. Gordon

Before Gordon joined the Trump campaign as a national security adviser in March 2016, he served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005 through 2009. Like others involved in Trump-Russia allegations, Gordon met with ambassador Kislyak in July at the Republican National Convention, but has since denied any wrongdoing in their conversation. He advocated for and worked to revise the RNC language on and position toward Ukraine relations, so it was more friendly toward Russia's dealings in the country.

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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 FBI Director James Comey to testifybefore the committee in a closed session. The Democrats said that 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 canceled.

"The chairman [Nunes] 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."

Sally YatesPete Marovich/Getty Images

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 had been pushing for.

The compromise is arguably a bigger victory for the Democrats, however, who have been eager to publicly question Yates in particular about her knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn's relationship to Russia.

Yates was fired as acting Attorney General after refusing to enforce Trump's first immigration order 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, the former CIA Director, has also come back into the spotlight recently amid reports that he established a counterintelligence task force last summer to examine improper contact between the Trump campaign and 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.

The break in the committee's partisan impasse comes a few weeks after Nunes recused himself from the committee's Russia investigation. He stepped down on April 6 and handed the probe over to Conaway amid questions about his ability to lead an unbiased investigation into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

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 which 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 had gotten them from an intelligence source — fueling speculation that administration officials had orchestrated the stunt to distract the press from Comey's revelation that various Trump associates were being investigated for their ties to Russia.

Nunes' vice-chair, 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."

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