Senior Intel officials expected to face pressure

Comey was sacked last month amid an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, as well as a broader probe into Russian interferences in the 2016 presidential election, prompting speculation by some that Trump sought to undermine the investigation.

So the logical path for Comey is to say he was uncomfortable, but avoid assigning intent to Trump's actions.

In addition, one source familiar with Comey's testimony says that Comey is not going to conclude whether the President obstructed justice regarding the agency's Russian Federation investigation, according to a source with knowledge.

Comey, who was running the FBI's probe into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, sought to enlist the attorney general's help in shielding the agency from such contacts, said the person who is not authorized to comment publicly.

In this March 20, 2017 photo, FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. A nonprofit issues group is labeling James Comey a political "showboat" in an advertisement set to air on television Thursday, the day the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director testifies on Capitol Hill. Rather, this source says, Comey plans to present himself as a "fact witness" by simply describing the interactions with the President on multiple occasions that made him uneasy enough to memorialize their conversations.

Despite the mounting legal questions now shadowing the White House, Trump has needled Comey publicly.

But Comey would be hard-pressed to allege obstruction of justice since he never reported it to DOJ (as far as we know) or in prior congressional testimony. Some of the commentary in it - including the title - echoes public statements by Trump and other administration officials. In the days since Comey's Senate appearance was announced, the person familiar with the former director's account, said Comey has been preparing for his testimony relatively alone, with input from only a few confidants.

As Trump embarked on the second-half of his first foreign trip, senior White House officials began crafting plans to create a war room-like structure to get a grip on the incessant salvo of Russia-related blockbusters. Comey may also detail other conversations with Trump.

Some officials said they viewed the prospective appointment of Feinberg as an effort by the White House to put pressure on intelligence agencies to close ranks with the White House.

Trump's decision to fire Comey led the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel, ex-FBI director Robert Mueller, to investigate allegations of collusion. He said the Trump administration has not directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to withhold information from members of Congress conducting oversight.

  • Zachary Reyes