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Everett writes: "Former FBI Director James Comey will get to tell his side of the story behind his abrupt firing last week, agreeing to testify in a public session at the Senate Intelligence Committee."

Former FBI director James Comey testifying in Washington, May 3, 2017. (photo: AP)
Former FBI director James Comey testifying in Washington, May 3, 2017. (photo: AP)


Comey Agrees to Testify in a Public Session at the Senate Intelligence Committee

By Burgess Everett, Politico

20 May 17

 

ormer FBI Director James Comey will get to tell his side of the story behind his abrupt firing last week, agreeing to testify in a public session at the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The hearing will occur after Memorial Day, committee leaders said on Friday evening.

“I hope that former Director Comey’s testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President," said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel. "Director Comey served his country with honor for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story. Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it."

Since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to take over the federal probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, the congressional investigations are likely to be largely frozen while counsel Robert Mueller does his work. But Comey is an exception, and several congressional committees have been jockeying to get him to testify publicly to explain why President Donald Trump fired him and his previous interactions with the president.

Comey wrote memos describing attempts by the president to kill his investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to several media reports, increasing the appetite on Capitol Hill to hear directly from Comey himself.

His testimony is sure to create a circus-like scene at the Capitol and become one of the most closely-watched political events of the year given all of the questions regarding his interactions with Trump. On Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump to Russian officials last week that Comey is a "nutjob" and that firing him relieved the "pressure" of the Russia investigations. The day before, Rosenstein told senators that Trump had decided to fire Comey before asking Rosenstein for a memo offering justification for the former FBI director's sacking.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” said Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

Senate Judiciary Committee leaders said they were "disappointed" that Comey had turned their committee down to speak before Burr's panel.

“We’re extremely disappointed in James Comey’s decision not to testify voluntarily before the Judiciary Committee. There is no reason he can’t testify before both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, particularly given that the Judiciary Committee is the FBI’s primary oversight committee," said Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in an unusual joint statement."Given his commitment to the people and the mission of the FBI, we expected him to be responsive to the senators responsible for vetting its next proposed leader. He should reconsider his decision.”

Other senators expressed disappointment that Comey would only testify to the intelligence panel. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement he was "surprised" that Comey would testify in public now that a special counsel had been named.

While saying he "certainly" wanted Comey to testify and tell his side of the story about his interactions with President Trump, Graham said he thought it should be to both the Judiciary Committee and the intelligence panel. Graham also said he wanted to ask Comey about leaks coming from the FBI.

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0 # ReconFire 2017-05-20 09:22
He opened himself up to charges of failing to report a crime. Comey won't testify until he's granted immunity from prosecution, he's not stupid. Washington clown college continues.
 

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