James Comey to Testify to Senate Next Week in First Appearance Since Firing

FBI Director James Comey is sworn in before a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs hearing on 'Fifteen Years After 9/11: Threats to the Homeland,' on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 27, 2016. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee next Thursday in his first appearance since President Trump fired him last month.

He will testify as part of the committee’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential elections and any collusion with the Trump campaign, which Trump has called a witch hunt.

Democrats are expected to press Comey about reports that say he wrote a memo claiming that Trump had urged him to drop an investigation into Michael Flynn, who was then his national security adviser.

However, Comey may not say much, since the Russia investigation is ongoing, and he had to clear his appearance with the special counsel now leading the probe, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to avoid impeding the investigation.

The hearing will be open to the public, though there will also be a closed hearing afterwards, where classified information can be discussed.

Reports that Trump had urged Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn spurred new calls for impeachment, with critics claiming the president obstructed justice.

However, legal experts and some Democrats acknowledge that specific actions would have had to occur to meet the standard of obstruction of justice, such as paying a bribe, not merely asking Comey to let Flynn go.

Democrats will also try to press Comey on reports that alleged Trump had asked the former FBI director about his loyalty to him.

Trump has pushed back against that characterization, suggesting that he could have recordings that prove he did not ask that.

Democrats accused Trump of firing Comey to shut down the Russia investigation, without acknowledging that they had also criticized his handling of Clinton’s email scandal, with some even calling for his removal.

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