Donald Trump may try to prevent James Comey from testifying

The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey's appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel.

Comey was leading a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged Russian meddling in last year's US presidential election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign when the president fired him last month.On Friday, White House officials said that they did not know yet whether President Donald Trump would seek to block Comey's testimony, a move that could spark a political backlash.

Despite speculation that President Trump may seek executive privilege to prevent his former Federal Bureau of Investigation director- James Comey- from testifying next week before the Senate, two senior administration officials reportedly said there is no plan to hinder the testimony.

Comey is slated to testify before the Senate panel behind closed doors and during an open session, where he is expected to get asked about his conversations with Trump in the months before the president fired him.

A source with knowledge of Comey's thinking told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger the former director was "disturbed" by his interactions with the President, but "thought he had the situation under control".

Trump could still move to block the testimony next week, given his history of changing his mind at the last minute about major decisions.

The White House faces a dilemma over whether to block Comey's highly anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is probing any ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Earlier Friday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, would not say what Trump planned to do.

Officials in the Trump administration never told former FBI Director James Comey about concerns with his performance and reportedly discussed replacing him long before his firing.

On Friday evening, House Democrats sent a letter to the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, saying there was no case for the president to exert the privilege on Comey.

"In the context of a criminal investigation, executive privilege has to give way", said Saikrishna Prakash, who lectures on constitutional law and presidential powers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The president also supposedly asked Comey to pledge his loyalty. "Mr. Comey's testimony may shed light on government misconduct".

  • Larry Hoffman