Fired FBI Director Comey To Testify Publicly About Trump, Russia Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss his role in the investigation probing Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

That meeting took place the day after Comey's firing.

Rosenstein denied media reports from last week that Comey had asked him for additional resources for his investigation before Trump fired him.

The headline on the Times story claims: "Trump Told Russians That Firing "Nut Job" Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation". The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official. It also distributed a letter from Sessions that said "Based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the Deputy Attorney General in the attached memorandum, I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

In a statement in response, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the report, but said Mr Comey had created "unnecessary pressure" on the US' ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation.

The central question at that blockbuster hearing will be whether Comey believed the President was trying to interfere with his investigation.

The Times cites the White House's official written account of the Oval Office meeting.

Regardless, the two stories are likely to keep Trump's Russian Federation troubles brewing over the weekend, even as the President tries to fix his image with a strong first foreign tour.

"As the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", Spicer said. The White House initially said the reason for his termination was his conduct in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server, but only two days later President Donald Trump said in an interview that he was going to fire Comey "no matter what" and called him a "showboat".

Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to Washington in the Oval Office the day after Trump fired Comey, who was in charge of the Russia election probe.

He also reportedly told them: "I'm not under investigation".

According to Politifact, the US President can be tried under Title 18, Section 1505, which requires a prosecutor to prove that through threat or force, Mr Trump obstructed, influenced, impeded or attempted to impede a proceeding through a "corrupt" mental state.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel has drawn generally favourable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well.

The move was dubbed "Nixonian" and has led to the appointment of a special counsel with sweeping powers to investigate the Trump campaign's links to Russian Federation.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the summary, saying in a statement that pressure applied by Comey had affected the President's diplomatic efforts with Russian Federation regarding Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State.


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