Former FBI Director Comey to testify before Senate intel committee

Former FBI Director Comey to testify before Senate intel committee

Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Donald Trump amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the USA election, has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing.

Also on Friday, Comey agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee after Memorial Day.

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, said Comey "deserves an opportunity to tell his story". But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

According to the newly-revealed document, Mr Trump told Russian officials the day after Mr Comey left his job: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I".

Friday's report quotes Trump calling ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director Comey "crazy" and "a real nut job". It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.

I'm not under investigation".

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. "The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it".

The Justice Department on Friday distributed prepared remarks that Rosenstein delivered to Congress in separate briefings. Comey's testimony could publicly corroborate that testimony, and badly damage Trump's presidency.

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It did not deny the Times report that Trump was critical of Comey to the Russians the day after he fired him.

According to lawmakers and Rosenstein's prepared remarks, the deputy attorney general offered little clarity about how related congressional inquiries may proceed in light of Rosenstein's appointment Wednesday of a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to examine the possibility of collusion between Trump's associates and Russian officials. Asked whether that included Rosenstein, he said, "I don't think he did a lot to bolster our confidence in him". The person may be cooperating or have information of use to investigators.

"I don't expect this to be any different", he added.

Cummings called Trump's reported comment "astonishing and extremely troubling".

"The committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections", Burr said in a statement, "and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media".

Spicer said of the former FBI director: "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".

White House hopes that Trump could leave scandalous allegations at home were crushed in a one-two punch of revelations that landed shortly after his departure.

The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

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