Posted: 12:20 pm Thursday, June 1st, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
The Senate Intelligence Committee announced today that former FBI Director James Comey will testify before that panel next Thursday, June 8, the first public comments by Comey since he was fired by President Donald Trump just over three weeks ago.
The hearing was announced this morning by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Comey seems likely to be asked about any efforts by President Trump to suggest ending a probe for former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Mr. Trump suggested that both Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan, had given misleading testimony to Congress on questions involving possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
“Witch hunt!” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.
BREAKING: Former FBI director James Comey to testify before the Senate intelligence committee on June 8.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) June 1, 2017
Comey last testified before Congress on May 3, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as took flak from Democrats about how he had handled the Hillary Clinton email probe, and the Trump-Russia investigation, during the 2016 elections.
In that hearing, Comey offered little in the way of new information about the Russia election interference investigation, simply again confirming that there was an ongoing probe, and once more denying that there was any surveillance in 2016 of the Trump Campaign.
It was only after Comey was fired on May 9, that stories leaked out about memos that had written to document various meetings with President Trump.
Lawmakers said it’s time to hear from the former FBI chief.
I'm glad James Comey is testifying before Senate Intel Cmte next Thurs. His testimony will hopefully help end speculation & lead us to facts
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) June 1, 2017
The announcement of the Comey hearing comes a day after the White House told reporters that questions about the Russia probe would no longer be entertained at press briefings – instead, reporters would be referred to President Trump’s outside counsel.
The President has made clear his disdain for Comey; in a meeting with Russian diplomats the day after Comey was fired, Mr. Trump reportedly labeled Comey a “nut job.”
Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Trump again made clear his displeasure with the Russia probe, calling for investigators to focus more on the “unmasking” of names by U.S. Intelligence officials.
The big story is the "unmasking and surveillance" of people that took place during the Obama Administration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017
It’s not clear how much ‘unmasking’ was used in the course of investigating possible meddling by Russia, or how many times it may have involved associates of Mr. Trump.