Fired FBI Director Comey To Testify Publicly About Trump, Russia Probe
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 13:31
Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGOP senator wouldn't be "surprised" if Comey forced to cancel testimony Graham "surprised" Comey will testify publicly Lawmakers vow to move ahead with Russian Federation probes MORE (R-S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that he appreciated Comey's willingness to testify before the intelligence panel but he was "surprised" he would be able to testify since Mueller was investigating conversations between Comey and President Trump.
Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, said Comey "deserves an opportunity to tell his story".
"Moreover", Warner added, "the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it". According to Comey's memo, the president had made his feelings known on the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn regarding his own ties to Russian Federation.
The New York Times reported today that Trump told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that Comey's firing had relieved pressure on the White House amid the ongoing Russia investigation.
"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians - zero", Trump told reporters. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Comey's highly anticipated testimony, which will be slated after the Memorial Day congressional recess, comes after he was sacked by Trump May 9 amid a mounting investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election and possible ties between Trump campaign associates and that country.
He says he hopes Comey's testimony will answer some of the questions that have arisen since Comey was suddenly dismissed last week by President Donald Trump.
The president has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, characterizing the multiple investigations of the matter as a "witch-hunt".
The Trump administration already was engulfed in crisis as the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as special counsel to lead the probe into Russian election meddling and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in the effort.
Graham said he was "surprised" Comey would agree to testify at all, "given the fact that we now have a Special Counsel who will likely be investigating matters related" to his conversations with Trump. "That's taken off", Trump purportedly told Lavrov.
Mr Rosenstein said, although he was personally fond of Mr Comey, "I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader".
Trump and his team planned the trip as an opportunity for the US president to unify Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders against extremism, a senior administration official said. Investigators are shifting from work that has largely been hidden from the public to conducting interviews and asking for grand jury subpoenas, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.
But it appears Comey has chosen to testify just once more before Congress.