White House: Trump won't seek to block Comey testimony

White House: Trump won't seek to block Comey testimony

US President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to block former FBI Director James Comey's much-anticipated testimony before Congress this week, his first since Trump abruptly fired him early last month.

"The president's power to assert executive privilege is well-established", spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

A special counsel is looking into links between Trump's presidential campaign previous year and Russians who sought to influence the election by hacking Democrats.

The ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director will appear Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee for a hearing sure to be replete with political drama and intrigue.

Comey's associates have indicated that he felt uncomfortable as U.S. president had sought to "compromise" FBI's independence.

In a prelude to Thursday's theatrics, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify Wednesday.

Legal experts have also said that the president is likely to have undermined his ability to assert executive privilege by publicly discussing his dealings with Mr Comey in tweets and interviews.

Both Trump's fellow Republicans and Democrats from the intelligence panel said they meant to grill Comey about whether Trump tried to get him to back off the investigation.


Most major United States television networks plan to carry the event live.

In case you've been avoiding the news for the sake of your fleeting sanity, the president reportedly asked Comey to back off the Russian Federation investigation, Comey supposedly said nyet, the president reportedly called Comey a "nut job" and officially canned him.

Asked at a news conference if he pressured Comey to drop the Flynn probe, Trump had said, "No. No".

Trump told NBC News he believed Comey to be a "showboat" and "grandstander".

But Republican lawmakers also plan to quiz Comey about why he did not act at the time if he considered the president's request to be improper pressure.

"If he doesn't say anything categorical, if he says, "Well you know, I felt this way, it could have been otherwise". if it is less than fully clear, then I think it gives both sides a lot of ammunition to argue through the rest of the summer and probably into the fall about what does all this mean".

"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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