Senator Ernst on Comey's upcoming testimony

Cheryl Sanders
June 8, 2017

Comey was leading a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged Russian meddling in last year's U.S. presidential election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign when the president fired him last month.

Comey is widely expected to be asked about conversations in which the president reportedly pressured him to drop an investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose ties to Russian Federation are under scrutiny. He said invoking executive privilege would be on "shaky legal ground" and stressed that Comey deserved to have his "day in court" after repeated attacks by Trump and reports of undue pressure.

Former FBI Director James Comey was "disturbed" by his interactions with President Donald Trump but "he thought he had the situation under control", a source familiar with Comey's thinking tells CNN. The testimony will be Comey's first public c...

"I do not. I think the travel ban is too broad", she said. He has repeatedly questioned the USA intelligence finding that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed an operation meant to swing the election in Trump's favor against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.


At least a dozen other people have been under consideration, according to a White House spokeswoman, but not all have been interviewed by Trump. If I were in the White House, I would be anxious, too.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Friday that she didn't believe Trump should try to block Comey's appearance. Trump has already mentioned these conversations himself publicly, going so far as to definitely not threaten Comey over leaking info to the press, making the legality of invoking executive privilege in this case even shakier. Besides, this Congress would be unlikely to sue the White House at all, and as usual in such situations, the federal courts would be reluctant to get in the middle of a political fight.

For Thursday's hearing, Trump could invoke executive privilege by arguing that discussions with Comey pertained to national security and that he had an expectation of privacy in getting candid advice from top aides. The memo was filed on February 14 following an Oval Office meeting with Trump and a day after Trump fired Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's ambassador.

Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly denied he had any compromising material about US President Donald Trump in a sometimes combative televised interview broadcast on Sunday.


Trump's plan looks to make good on a campaign promise, but is also a clear attempt to offer a distraction - albeit a less controversial one - to what Comey is expected to say when he testifies in an open Senate hearing on Thursday.

Experts say that if the White House is determined to shut down Comey, lawyers could escalate the issue to a federal district court and try to obtain a court order blocking him from testifying, but such a move would be unprecedented and not a guaranteed recipe for success.

Immediately after describing his version of discussions with Comey, Trump sent out a tweet warning Comey he "better hope there are no tapes" of their conversations. "There is a path to judicial review, but a lot of things would have to take place", Wright said.


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