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Ex-FBI chief Comey to testify to Senate panel in public session

Comey was fired by President Donald Trump last week amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
James Comey Russia investigation
Ex-FBI Director James Comey will testify on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last week amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election, has agreed to testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing, the committee said in a statement on Friday.

The hearing will be scheduled after the May 29 Memorial Day holiday, the statement said.

“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,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R - N.C.), the committee chairman, The Washington Times reported.

Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the committee, said Comey “deserves an opportunity to tell his story. Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it.”

Separately, the New York Times reported that Trump boasted to Russian officials at a White House meeting last week that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" the president faced from a law-enforcement probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job," Trump said, according to the Times, which cited a document summarizing the meeting and read to it by an unnamed U.S. official.

"I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to Washington in the Oval Office the day after Trump fired Comey, who was in charge of the Russia election probe.

The Times said the document was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the accuracy of that account.

Comey has not spoken publicly in the 10 days since he was fired.

Kimberly M. Aquilina contributed to this report.

 

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