Trump Still Hasn't Decided Whether To 'Let' Comey Testify, Conway Says

The White House seems to agree, or at least knows that the optics would be bad.

Subsequent reports revealed that Comey kept notes on his conversations with the president, including one where he claims Trump asked him to hold back an FBI investigation of fired national security advisor Mike Flynn - a story Comey intends to maintain.

"There is no substance to this, so the only way to look at it is as an attempt to distract the headlines and the public from Comey's public testimony and Mueller's investigation, both of which are serious", said one of the United States officials familiar with the information Nunes subpoenaed. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a decision that had not been announced.

Watch the full interview above. (That was Stephanopoulos' conclusion, too.) That may be in part because of its less-than-certain application in this situation, but it's not clear just how cloudy it would be.

The term "executive privilege" is not in the U.S. Constitution.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment. But such a maneuver would likely draw a backlash and could be challenged in court, they said.

"It's highly unlikely a federal judge would issue an injunction", Ohlin said, and that leaves the second avenue of prosecuting Comey for violating executive privilege. The two sat next to each other at the dinner.

The simpler answers are likely the best: Trump's not going to invoke it because it would be politically disastrous to do so, and it also appears unnecessary to boot.

Even if this were true, it would not mean Comey believed the president had committed felony obstruction. Other reporting is that the president asked Comey to pledge his "loyalty" immediately after taking office.

Comey is set to testify on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in open session and in private.

That doesn't mean Comey won't do some political damage this week, though. The requests were made by former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice and Samantha Power, the former US representative to the United Nations, according to a congressional staffer, who was not authorized to disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Asked on Friday if the White House might invoke executive privilege, press secretary Sean Spicer said, "That committee hearing was just noticed, and I think obviously it's got to be reviewed".

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also are expected to testify. Facing rising pressure, the Justice Department last month named Robert Mueller, another former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, as a special counsel to investigate the matter.

When pressed on the magnitude of the Russia investigation as the committee enters an important week of hearings, Collins said "there is so much speculation and so many stories and so many leaks that it's very hard to determine the facts of the Russian involvement in our elections last fall, the extent to that of that involvement, and also whether or not there was collusion or collaboration with members of President Trump's campaign team".

That does seem a little odd. Trump's known to change his mind on major issues. "His testimony is in the public's interest".

Executive privilege is a murky legal concept, say experts.

When was the last time a live television countdown began 120 hours before a testimony in the US Congress?

  • Leroy Wright