James Comey to testify before Senate intel committee

Posted May 20, 2017

Washington, May 20 Sacked FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before a Congressional committee in an open session about alleged Russian interference in the USA presidential polls previous year.

The hearing will be held after the May 29 Memorial Day holiday, the committee said in a statement. The Post didn't name the official.

But Trump said later that he had already chose to fire Comey. Investigators are shifting from work that has largely been hidden from the public to conducting interviews and asking for grand jury subpoenas, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.

And The New York Times said the USA president had told top Russian officials Mr Comey's sacking had relieved "great pressure" on him.

Committee chairman Senator Richard Burr said he wants to hear from Mr Comey on his role in the development of the USA intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian Federation interfered in last year's presidential elections.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not dispute the Times's account.

Spicer didn't confirm or dispute the comments in the Times story on the meeting with Russian envoys.

"By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". Lindsey Graham, that the special counsel would diminish Congress' investigations, though the leaders of those probes have insisted they will continue along with Mueller's investigation. His role in the probe came to a screeching halt when Trump fired him 10 days ago - though a paper trail of memos he left behind has suggested the administration's attempts to derail the investigation. "That's taken off", Trump allegedly said. "I'm not under investigation". The investigation is now in the hands of a special counsel, as well as multiple Congressional committees. His answer to those questions will carry significant weight with lawmakers, who have already asked for copies of that memo.

However, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Comey declined their invitation to testify before the panel over the circumstances surrounding his abrupt removal.

He said the notion that he may have affected the presidential race made him feel "mildly nauseous", though he'd do it all again because not doing so "would have been catastrophic".

The President also dismissed reports that he demanded loyalty pledge from former FBI Director James Comey at a private dinner.Trump responded saying, "No, I didn't but I think loyalty to the country, loyalty to the U.S.is important". He even said he had discussed the need for a change with then-Senator Jeff Sessions last winter.

Mr Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting. It kicks off Saturday in Saudi Arabia.

Two new reports add to a turbulent week in Washington politics.

The newspaper said that a United States official read the document to Times staff members.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who chairs a Judiciary subcommittee panel that has been driving much of the Russian Federation probe, echoed Grassley's and Feinstein's frustrations.

FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify on Capitol Hill on May 3. "He should reconsider his decision".