Trump not planning to invoke executive privilege to block Comey testimony

Saturday in Boone, IA, Republican Senator Joni Ernst commented on the possibility. "Any assertion of privilege by the President would be seen as an effort to obstruct the truth from both Congress and the American people".

One of the administration officials said Friday evening that Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Comey to testify because the president had nothing to hide and wanted Mr. Comey's statements to be publicly aired. "The exception would be any conversations that haven't yet been made public, by Comey or by Trump, assuming such conversations exist". "You don't do that I think by invoking executive privilege on a conversation you had apparently with nobody else in the room".

That committee is expected to listen to Comey's testimony about the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling a year ago and Comey's private conversations with the president.

The president has said he won't prevent Comey from testifying, but some say he could still change his mind.

But earlier Friday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said indicated that Comey would testify, although she said it was up to the president whether he would invoke executive privilege. Putin has repeated there is no evidence of Kremlin involvement in the election.

In his letter firing Comey, Trump said the former FBI director had informed him "on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation". He has repeatedly questioned the US intelligence finding that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed an operation meant to swing the election in Trump's favor against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump, faced with potentially damning testimony from his former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, will look to push a $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a series of White House events and a trip to OH, a White House official said. She said it is a matter of tone and context and she hopes Comey can shed light on whether Trump was trying to force Comey to stop the investigation or just wanted to know where it was headed. Washington reporters say it's more than mere coincidence that leaks on Kushner have come thick and fast after Bannon got kicked out of the elite National Security Council. Basically, don't hold your breath waiting for some explosive revelation about the Trump-Russia investigation during Comey's testimony.

The justification for using executive privilege to block internal executive branch communications is that the president can not be chilled in getting the advice he needs to carry out his constitutional functions, the Times explains. The GOP staffer, 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.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had to approve the Comey appearance, but some areas of discussion may be off topic out of concerns it could impede an ongoing investigation.

Richard Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, who served as the chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, said he had no idea what Comey might say.

  • Larry Hoffman