James Comey to testify Thursday

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Fired FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET. (The closed session will follow.)

CBS News will air live coverage of the Comey testimony as a Special Report co-hosted by Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King and Charlie Rose starting Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. CBSN will also live stream the former FBI Director’s testimony before congress.

  • What: former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress 
  • When: Thursday June 8, 2017 beginning at 10 a.m. ET 
  • On TV: CBS News, check your local listings  

The highly anticipated testimony comes after Comey’s abrupt dismissal May 9. It marks the first time the former FBI director will speak in public since his firing.

In his testimony, Comey is expected to answer questions about reports that President Trump asked him to back off the FBI’s investigation into any ties between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian government.

Comey documented his conversations with the president in memos. In a meeting the day after Flynn resigned in February, the president reportedly told Comey “I hope you can let this go,” referring to Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump said, according to Comey’s memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

The committee, according to Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, has not yet seen the Comey memos and thinks the earliest senators might see them is Thursday, the day Comey testifies.

Burr also said that he does not expect Comey’s testimony to be constrained in any way. He said that it is his understanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not limited the scope of Comey’s testimony, so lawmakers are also sure to ask Comey about the Russia investigation that he was leading when he was fired. Comey will only talk about classified information in the closed part of the hearing, however. 

The White House is also not going to try to stop Comey from speaking, saying Monday that Mr. Trump will not exert executive privilege and attempt to block Comey from testifying before Congress. The White House expressed to desire to “facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In his testimony, Comey is expected to confirm the contents of this memo, though he may be limited from further explanation due to the ongoing FBI investigation surrounding the issue.

“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said in a statement.  

Later Thursday, Comey will also testify in a private session at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Senate Intelligence Committee also asked Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe for any other documentation from the FBI containing information regarding Comey’s communication with the Trump administration.

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