Trump mulling gag on public testimony of ex-FBI chief


President Trump does not plan to invoke executive privilege to try to block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before Congress next week, The New York Times reports, citing two senior administration officials.

President Trump will apparently not try to cite executive privilege in an attempt to block the Russian Federation investigation-related testimony of fired FBI director James Comey, according to two senior Trump administration officials who spoke with the New York Times.

Comey's testimony probably will focus on the private meetings the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director had with Trump and subsequently chronicled in internal memos and recounted to associates who have divulged their contents to The Associated Press and other media outlets.

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He said he had not spoken to the White House counsel, Don McGahn, about the matter. However, legal experts say it is not clear whether certain conversations between Trump and Comey that the president has talked about publicly would be covered, and any effort to block Comey, who is now a private citizen, from testifying could be challenged in court.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month, has been called to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into how the Russian government meddled in the presidential election and whether Trump's associates colluded with the Russians. Aside from Sean Spicer's refusal to answer anymore questions about Comey and the ongoing Russian Federation probe, however, the White House is also exploring the possibility of blocking Comey's testimony, which is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, June 8th. Executive privilege is a legal doctrine that allows the president to withhold information from other government branches. Basically, don't hold your breath waiting for some explosive revelation about the Trump-Russia investigation during Comey's testimony.

Russia has repeatedly denied any effort to interfere in the U.S. election, and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said some Russians might have acted on their own without their government's involvement.

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One of the administration officials said Friday evening that Trump wanted Comey to testify because the president had nothing to hide and wanted Comey's statements to be publicly aired.

Evan McMullin, former Central Intelligence Agency operative and independent 2016 presidential candidate said in a CNN interview on Friday that "the president would be extremely foolish to try to block this". "How is the president going to stop Comey from testifying?"

Another of the three sources described the process as chaotic and said that in one interview, Trump spoke mostly about himself and seemed distracted.

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