Could Executive Privilege Block Comey Testimony?
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 2:13
The former director agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee several weeks ago, but the committee first had to "deconflict" any of his testimony with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation.
Wading into a political feud over the latest subpoenas in the U.S. House Intelligence Committee's Russian Federation probe, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday backed efforts to investigate actions by U.S. security and other officials under previous president Barack Obama. While the justices said conversations between presidents and top aides were presumed confidential, they said the privilege is not absolute.
The White House has also denied that the President asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty shortly after he took office. Congress voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over the records.
Subpoenas demanding information for unmasking requests were issued to former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, former White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.
The Senate panel hearing is expected to quiz Comey on memorandums he allegedly wrote on three conversations he had with Trump in January and February. He began his career with Justice in 1991 at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of NY.
"We'll be watching with the rest of the world when Director Comey testifies", she said. The panel is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whether the president or his associates were involved.
In addition, the committee's Republican chairman, Representative Devin Nunes, who had recused himself from the panel's Russian Federation investigation, also approved subpoenas to the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency for information relating to the "unmasking" of the names of Trump campaign advisers inadvertently picked up in top-secret foreign communications intercepts.
"While the President has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn", a White House official said in a statement. The White House has denied those characterizations.
Four were issued to ousted national security adviser Flynn, the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and their respective companies. "I haven't spoken to counsel yet, I don't know how they'll respond". He said he hoped House Speaker Paul Ryan would intervene to make sure that happened. The staff member, who was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the chairman has the authority to sign off on subpoenas and that all the committee rules were followed.
The Justice Department and several United States congressional committees are investigating the Russian Federation matter.