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Comey will testify before Senate Intelligence Committee in open session
20 May 2017, 04:47 | Kelvin Horton
Former FBI Director James Comey will testify in open session before one of the legislative committees investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation, committee leaders announced Friday.
Comey has not spoken publicly since President Donald Trump abruptly fired him less than two weeks ago amid his agency's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump camapaign and Russian officials.
"Jarrett writes at Fox News: "[Mueller] and James Comey are good friends and former colleagues who worked hand-in-hand for years at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"I hope that former Director Comey's testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President", Warner said in the same statement.
Rosenstein said he learned on May 8 that Trump was going to fire Comey and the president "sought my advice and input". The White House has given different versions of the reasons for the dismissal. "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation", he said.
The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the vice chairman and ranking Democrat on the committee, said the ex-FBI head "deserves an opportunity to tell his story". "By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Spicer said.
If the White House couldn't get Mueller removed, they'd use the rule to cast doubt on his impartiality, according to Reuters:"Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements", Julia Edwards Ainsley reported.
Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.
One government official interviewed by the Times claimed Trump's talk of "pressure" was a negotiation tactic, meant to press upon Moscow that its meddling in the 2016 elections had raised problems for the president, and to induce Russian Federation into diplomatic concessions.
Democrats, who have compared the widening scandal to the Watergate break-in and cover-up that brought down Republican former President Richard Nixon in 1974, were quick to pounce on the latest reports. Comey confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved.
Cummings said the committee's Republican chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, "should. have his subpoena pen ready" to obtain any White House documents related to Trump's meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly".
Mueller's broad mandate gives him not only oversight of the Russian Federation probe, but also "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". The meeting ignited controversy this week when it was revealed that Trump had disclosed intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation.
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