Trump Not Planning to Invoke Executive Privilege for Comey Testimony — NY Times

Trump Not Planning to Invoke Executive Privilege for Comey Testimony — NY Times

Comey is set to testify on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in open session and in private.

Former FBI Director James Comey will have the nation captivated next Thursday when he testifies before a Senate panel about the stunning accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into his former national security adviser's ties to Russian Federation. Assuming the oft-impulsive president doesn't change his mind, the report would seem to quash earlier caginess on the part of Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer regarding the issue.

Legal experts say that Trump could invoke a doctrine called executive privilege to try to stop Comey from testifying. Trump fired Comey on May 9.

"There's nothing Comey could say that would be more damaging than trying to silence him", one White House adviser told ABC News.

Typically a president uses executive privilege to prevent government employees from releasing information. But she said Trump wanted to allow for a "swift and thorough examination of the facts" related to Comey's ouster and the multiple investigations into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation.

Alongside the Russian Federation investigation, he was heading a separate probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Despite this expressed protection, however, such privilege isn't "absolute" - especially certain facts about Comey's upcoming testimony break with precedence.

Comey, the source said, believed he was dealing with someone who did not quite grasp the inappropriateness of his actions, and that Comey thought the President could be "trained" how to interact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

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"Executive privilege has traditionally been used to justify the president refusing to make available people or documents within the control of the executive branch", said Keith Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University.

"I said to myself, I said "You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", Trump said.

Sources familiar with Comey's thinking said he's also ready to discuss whether he felt pressure from Trump or other administration officials to curtail the FBI's probe of alleged ties between the Russian government and members of Trump's circle.

Democratic Representative Jackie Speier said it appeared that Nunes was "more concerned with pushing the White House narrative than seeking the truth".

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, also a member of the committee, said she had several questions for Comey in light of various public statements about the ongoing FBI probe, including Trump's claim that the FBI director had said that Trump was not the subject of an investigation.

Lawmakers in both parties have urged Trump to allow Comey to testify publicly.

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. Putin has repeated there is no evidence of Kremlin involvement in the election. Comey, the man who Hillary Clinton claims cost her the election in the final days before November 8 now holds the Trump White House by the scruff of its neck. Does Mr. Comey agree that that is what was said?

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