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

Trump Won't Block James Comey's Testimony Before Congress

White House officials said Monday that President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to try to block James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director he fired, from testifying before Congress this week, clearing the way for a hearing that may be the most anticipated in Washington in months if not years.

If Trump had asserted executive privilege over Comey, it would have likely created the perception that the administration was seeking to hide information about the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

Comey's sacking came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation probes possible collusion between the president's election campaign team and Russian Federation - which U.S. intelligence believes hoped to tilt the election in the Republican's favor.

Comey is scheduled to testify on June 8 before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his May 9 firing by Trump, first in public and then behind closed doors.

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Mr Comey is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Comey was subsequently fired by Trump in May.

"The president's power to assert executive privilege is well established", principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters during the daily press briefing.

He has said Comey assured him he was not personally under investigation, and in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump criticized Comey as an attention seeker. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

In particular, Comey is expected to shine light on reports that a memo allegedly penned by him claimed that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

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"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".

Some critics of Trump have said that such a request, especially given that he later fired Comey, could be interpreted as an obstruction of justice.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday the decision by the White House counsel's office hasn't been made yet.

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