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Trump will not block Comey from testifying, White House says

06 June 2017

The Russia maelstrom raging around Donald Trump's presidency reaches a momentous plot twist this week when ex-FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate.

If Trump had asserted executive privilege over Comey, it would have likely created the perception that the administration was seeking to hide information about the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

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.

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Lawmakers in both parties have urged Trump to allow Comey to testify publicly. In any case, Trump will spend the day of Comey's testimony tweeting out lame insults and insane conspiracy theories.

Officials are also expected to question the former director on whether the president attempted to obstruct Comey's own investigation.

Trump fired Comey last month.

Asked at a news conference if he pressured Comey to drop the Flynn probe, Trump had said, "No. No".

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"The president's power to assert executive privilege is well established", principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters during the daily press briefing.

It was not clear that Trump would have succeeded in stopping Comey from testifying had he chosen to cite executive privilege.

Mueller, respected for his independence and thoroughness, has so far been silent about taking over the investigations.

His hotly awaited appearance on Capitol Hill comes as probes by the Justice Department and several congressional committees have focused on Trump's inner circle, with investigators said to be examining contacts between top White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Mueller has reportedly met with Comey to discuss the parameters of his testimony.

The president's free-wheeling style underscores the difficulty the White House faces as it attempts to recalibrate following weeks of damaging reports about possible ties between his campaign and Russian Federation, as well as a steady drumbeat of speculation about internal conflict and disarray.

In this May 8, 2017, photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington.

Trump will not block Comey from testifying, White House says