Sunday, 25 June, 2017

WH says Trump won't block Comey testimony

Former FBI Director James Comey Susan Walsh Associated Press Former FBI Director James Comey
Jon Howard | 06 June, 2017, 06:39

US President Donald Trump will allow former FBI Director James Comey to testify before a Senate panel investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 vote without applying any executive power.

The White House has given various reasons for Comey's May firing, including that he did not have the backing of the bureau's rank and file.

The New York Times reported late Friday, citing unnamed administration officials, that Trump is unlikely to attempt to muzzle Comey.

Former FBI Director James Comey. Just days after Trump's inauguration, he invited the director to dinner and, according to people familiar with Comey's account, asked him repeatedly for his loyalty, which Comey declined to give.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, said he expected Comey's testimony would not be his last before Congress.

Short had been speaking about the president's legislative priorities, including passing health care reform and major tax cuts, when he was asked how much harder it was to move forward when issues like former FBI Director James Comey's planned testimony and the ongoing Russian Federation investigations are sucking up so much oxygen on Capitol Hill.

A second White House official confirmed that the issue is under review.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday that Trump and his staff would be "watching with the rest of the world" to see what Comey has to say.

Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, said a person who was given a copy of a memo Comey wrote about the conversation. If Comey wants to tell his story, it will be told - one way or another. "You don't do that I think by invoking executive privilege on a conversation you had apparently with nobody else in the room".

Any confirmation that Trump tried to press Comey would open the president to damaging allegations that he attempted to obstruct an ongoing FBI investigation.

Should Comey deliver devastating testimony on any of those questions that suggests Trump obstructed justice, he will significantly worsen the political challenges facing the President.

"And in fact, when I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story", Trump continued.

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