Trump Not Planning to Invoke Executive Privilege for Comey Testimony — NY Times
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 04, 2017,
Jun 04, 2017, 3:47
Former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill next Thursday, June 8, before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any potential coordination between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.
Mr Comey was leading the FBI's probe into the allegations, and his firing sparked a political uproar.
What Comey is allowed to say publicly will be constrained by the ongoing federal investigation, which is now being led by special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller.
Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation of Russian interference in the election and possible Trump campaign collusion with them, but Trump could try to block him from doing so by invoking executive privilege.
"But the president had made a decision to fire Comey before he got that memo", the ABC host parried. Given the commander in chief's "history of changing his mind at the last minute about major decisions" it's hard to know for certain what he'll do, but, regardless, legal experts agree the case for invoking executive privilege would be weak anyway.
Kellyanne Conway told ABC's morning program Good Morning America that Trump is determining whether to use his presidential powers to block James Comey, whom Trump abruptly fired last month, from testifying. The idea is that if Congress could get access to those private communications, it would chill the candor of the advice the president received and inhibit his ability to carry out his constitutionally assigned duties.
Though executive privilege has existed in practice for centuries, it wasn't formally recognized in the USA until 1974, when the Supreme Court addressed the issue in United States v. Nixon.
Truth-seekers are eager to hear Comey's side of the story, especially since the Russian Federation scandal has so far been mired in anonymous reports and "sources say" rhetoric. Another moment Comey reportedly memorialized in a memo was Trump asking Comey to back off investigating his first national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Russia has repeatedly denied any effort to interfere in the U.S. election, and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said some Russians might have acted on their own without their government's involvement.
The failure to flag any such concerns to Comey before terminating him is part of what makes the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director feel so blindsided.
One of these notes, allegedly written by Comey, was recently leaked and it appears to reveal Trump directly asking Comey to kill the Flynn investigation.
Multiple investigations surround the Trump White House right now, meaning a lot of people will spill some info to Congress and to investigators - unless, the president can stop them from talking.
Legal experts have said that Mr. Trump's tweets about Mr. Comey would damage any claim of executive privilege.