Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

White House: Trump won't block Comey's testimony

White House: Trump won't block Comey's testimony

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.

Trump's office put an end to that speculation on Monday, saying "President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony".

The ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director will appear Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee for a hearing sure to be replete with political drama and intrigue. Lawmakers are especially interested in reports that Trump sought to persuade Comey to shut down an investigation into the president's former national security adviser. "Hoping on Thursday we actually get some good answers with Comey".

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement during Monday's press briefing.

The decision to break into regularly scheduled programming for a Congressional hearing is unusual for broadcasters, indicating the incredibly high level of public interest in what Comey may or may not say regarding his interactions with President Donald Trump.

Comey reportedly wrote memos describing conversations with Trump before he was sacked in which Trump allegedly asked him to "let this go", referring to the FBI's investigation of Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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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. Comey was subsequently fired by Trump in May.

Trump told NBC News he believed Comey to be a "showboat" and "grandstander".

Should Comey deliver devastating testimony on any of those questions that suggests Trump obstructed justice, he will significantly worsen the political challenges facing the President.

Comey was also "taken aback" by Trump's request for a loyalty pledge at a dinner at the White House in late January, CNN's Jake Tapper has reported.

Spicer said he hadn't spoken to the White House counsel, Don McGahn, about the matter.

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