Fired FBI chief Comey to testify publicly in Congress

U.S. President Trump shakes hands with Colombian President Santos at a press conference after a White House meeting Thursday

On Friday, The New York Times reported that Trump told Russian officials last week that Comey is a "nutjob" and that firing him relieved the "pressure" of the Russia investigations.

Former FBI Director James Comey has however agreed to testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee sometime after Memorial Day, which is on May 29, committee leaders announced in a statement Friday.

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, said Comey "deserves an opportunity to tell his story". "I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said Sen.

The FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation has extended to a current senior White House official, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The newspaper cited a document detailing the White House meeting Trump held with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to Washington in the Oval Office the day after he fired Comey.

“I just fired the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "That's taken off", Trump told his guest in the Oval Office, the Times said, quoting notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a US official. It did say Comey, "created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

Commenting on the allegations Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

In closed-door meetings with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday, Rosenstein said he wrote the memo after Trump told him one day before the May 9 firing that he wanted to dismiss Comey. Comey's sacking triggered a political firestorm with an angry opposition calling for an appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged Russian influence in last year's general elections.

Ex-FBI director James Comey has agreed to testify openly to the Senate on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”.

Since there has not been such a situation earlier, it could still be possible the newly appointed special counsel Robert Mueller would object to the former FBI director speaking in public about an ongoing investigation.

Although White House officials still consider an attempt to impeach Trump unlikely, the White House Counsel's Office is said to be seeking the advice of legal experts on how a potential impeachment bid would move forward, according to the CNN report. Comey will certainly be asked about encounters that precipitated his firing, including a January dinner in which, Comey has told associates, Trump asked for his loyalty.

In a statement, he said that Comey had put unnecessary pressure on the president's ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation on matters such as Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State group. He said "No. No...next question".

Numerous leaks, Blumenthal noted, were "related to Trump's conversations about his Russia policy and foreign policy in general", in order to stimulate "opposition" not just to a US-Russia detente, but to ultimately end with "nothing less than [Trump's] impeachment", Blumenthal said.

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