Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trump reviewing whether to block Comey testimony to Senate

Stacy Diaz | 04 June, 2017, 03:42

Mr Comey was sacked by Mr Trump on May 9 - removing him as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a time when the agency is investigating the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.

Comey, fired by Trump last month, is due to testify on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in both an open session and behind closed doors.

Comey was overseeing the federal investigation into Russian measures to disrupt the 2016 election, and possible collusion in them by Trump's campaign when the president abruptly fired him.

Former FBI Director James Comey has not received a notice regarding executive privilege from the Justice Department ahead of his scheduled testimony next week, a source close to him revealed.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey will testify on June 8 before a congressional committee investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation of Russian interference in the election and possible Trump campaign collusion with them, but Trump could try to block him from doing so by invoking executive privilege.

While the department has compiled a long list of candidates for the White House, there has been no "clear framework or logic for who was interviewed and why", said one of the sources.

Kellyanne Conway raised the prospect that the White House may try to invoke executive privilege over Comey's conversations with Trump.

Mr. Trump could still move to block the testimony next week, given his history of changing his mind at the last minute about major decisions.

The investigations began after US intelligence agencies concluded Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computer servers previous year with the intent of inflicting damage on the campaign of Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton, who political analysts say, Russian President Vladimir Putin despised. "At the time, he didn't say anything to the president". Earlier on Friday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, would not say what Mr. Trump planned to do.

"We urge you in the strongest possible terms to counsel the president accordingly", said the letter, signed by ranking Democratic Rep. John Conyers of MI and six other committee members from his party.

In one memo written after a February get-together, Comey recounted how the president suggested the FBI should drop its investigation of Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced to resign for lying to administration officials about his contacts with the Russia's ambassador to the United States.

Can Trump legally claim executive privilege over Comey? "It would be odd if he could then invoke privilege to block Comey from giving his version of events", Feldman told Bloomberg. Reuters reported on Friday that Donald Trump might be considering blocking James Comey's testimony. The D.C. Circuit ended up resolving it through court-supervised mediation to available separation of powers issues.