Comey expected to refute Trump
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 07, 2017,
Jun 07, 2017, 11:14
Mr. Comey did not reveal, however, what had so unnerved him about his Oval Office meeting with the president: Mr. Trump's request that the F.B.I. director end the investigation into the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who had just been fired.
President Donald Trump couldn't get through a round of thank you's during a meeting Tuesday with GOP leaders and his top White House aides without alluding to the ever-growing controversy that has now reached his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner.
The other key issues Comey will address are clear, a source adds - the allegation that Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him shortly after he took office, and the President's request to ease up on the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn in the FBI probe into possible collusion with Russian Federation by Trump associates.
In addition to asking Coats to try to influence Comey, Trump also asked Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to issue statements saying no evidence of collusion between his administration and Russian Federation existed.
Trump's alleged request of Comey came in a private Oval Office meeting on February 14, the day after he fired Flynn after it was revealed that Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration about the nature of his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States. Comey reportedly documented the interaction in a contemporaneous memo.
The Times report, which cited current and former law enforcement officials, added that Comey did not specify his issue with Trump in the conversation with Sessions.
When he was sacked, Mr Comey was leading an investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government before the election.
Comey's testimony will be his first public remarks since he was summarily fired by Trump on May 9.
Trump, a ratings-obsessed former reality television star, may not appreciate the worldwide attention paid to Comey's public testimony, which is being touted as the Super Bowl of high political drama.
The White House has repeatedly denied that Trump tried to press Comey to end the investigation into Flynn or otherwise impeded the Russian Federation investigation. The White House referred questions to outside lawyers, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
White House officials had considered trying to invoke the President's executive privilege authority to block the testimony, but they said on Monday that they would not do so.
"The RNC's top priority is to support and defend the White House and this week is no different", RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney said. However, that effort has largely stalled, both because of a lack of decision-making in the West Wing and concerns among some potential recruits about joining a White House under the cloud of investigation. Some said they were exhausted of leaks and partisan innuendo and wanted direct testimony from the key source.