Ahead Of Comey Hearing, Intelligence Officials Testify Before Senate Committee

A day before a Senate panel hears former FBI Director James Comey's first public account of his dramatic firing, lawmakers will question senior members of President Donald Trump's national security team about surveillance law and are expected to ask whether the president has tried to influence ongoing investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

Chairman of the Senate intelligence committee Richard Burr, of North Carolina, said Tuesday that he will focus on reauthorizing a key portion of a USA surveillance law that is set to expire later this year.

"We will establish the facts, separate from rampant speculation and lay them out for the American people to make their own judgment", he said.

On February 14, after an Oval Office briefing on counter-terrorism, Trump asked Comey to stay behind, dismissing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who lingered, and waving off Priebus, who peeked through the door.

Mike Rogers, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will all testify before the Senate intelligence committee 24 hours before the Comey hearing.

"If I'm called before an investigative committee, I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don't know", Coats said on May 23. However, officials ultimately concluded that the optics of taking that step would be worse than the risk of letting the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director testify freely.

The day after the report, Coats declined to answer whether it was true - but Coats also teased that he may be open to answering the question if asked by the right committee.

Trump has made identifying "leakers" one of his top priorities as part of an effort to counter Russian Federation stories and the topic of Wednesday's hearing - FISA surveillance - plays to Trump's strengths on this issue.

When asked by Republican Sen.

The Justice Department then appointed another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, as special counsel in the investigation.

Some legal experts said Comey's written statement could be used to show that Trump engaged in obstruction of justice.

It's a new twist for a hearing Wednesday that was set to be dominated by questions about the Russian Federation investigation. "It is frustrating because they have not invoked executive privilege and they have no legal basis".

The latest report adds to questions of whether Trump interfered in the Russian Federation investigation, just one day before Comey is set to testify on Trump's request that he end his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump, who spent part of Wednesday in OH talking about the need to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure, ignored reporters' shouted questions about Comey. "We simply looked at each other in silence", Comey said in his testimony, explaining he became concerned that Trump was trying to create "some sort of patronage relationship".

  • Larry Hoffman