WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former FBI director James Comey will testify in front of a Senate panel about allegations that his former boss, president Donald Trump, pressured him to end his investigation into a Trump administration official’s ties to Russia according to published reports (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/comey-testify-pressure-trump-russia-probe).
Comey, who was fired by Trump weeks ago, is expected to be grilled by the Senate Intelligence Committee which is investigating whether the president colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election.
Comey has reportedly spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III to ensure there are no legal repercussions that may arise as a result of his public account, a source said.
Since his firing last month, reports in the New York Times and CNN claimed Trump emanded Comey’s “loyalty” in order to be kept on as FBI director, and urged Comey to drop his ongoing investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, during a closed door meeting. The president and Trump administration spokespeople have vehemently denied these claims.
“This is a witch hunt,” said a Trump administration official who did not want to go on the record. “They know that there isn’t a shred of evidence that links the president’s colluding with Russia and what you’re getting from Comey now is sour grapes.”
After Comey’s firing in April, the president defended his decision to let Comey go in light of his handling of the investigation into the email scandal surrounding former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it,” Trump told NBC News the week of the firing. “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
Comey’s testimony could come as early as next week, but an official date has not yet been finalized.