Trump Won't Seek to Block Comey's Testimony, White House Says

Louis Holland
June 6, 2017

Donald Trump will not use presidential powers to prevent the ex-FBI director James Comey from testifying to Congress Thursday, the White House said, setting the stage for potentially explosive testimony later this week.

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 significance of the move lies in the fact that Comey was probing alleged Russian hacking in last year's USA presidential election. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

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Comey's appearance will be carried on live television.

It has been reported that Comey plans to talk about conversations in which Trump pressured him to drop his investigation into former national security advisor Mike Flynn, who was sacked for failing to disclose conversations with Russian officials. And seeking to block Comey's testimony could amount to a grievous political misstep since it would instantly be seen as sign that the White House has something to hide.

Things deteriorated thereafter. Trump asked Comey to stop a probe into Michael Flynn case - he stood accused of provided misleading accounts of a phone call with Russia's ambassador.

A source told CBS News Comey will remain available to Mueller and investigators.

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

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.

"I think that the president is often very effective in driving our message in Congress", said Short, who argued that the president won the election because he was "not a conformist candidate" and voters were anxious for change in Washington.

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