The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey's appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel. Much like the problems for executive privilege created by Trump's possibly waiving his office's exclusive right, however, the president's repeated public mentions of the matter may also make issuing a restraining order - let alone requesting one - legally hard, if not impossible.

Saturday in Boone, IA, Republican Senator Joni Ernst commented on the possibility. Whatever Comey tells Congress isn't going to get Trump in legal trouble, so the White House has seemingly (and wisely) concluded that it's just better to get past it quickly.

'When Director Comey goes to testify, I think that will be a very clarifying moment.

"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. If there was doubt about the reason for Comey's dismissal, Trump cleared it up by telling NBC News' Lester Holt that the Russian Federation probe had weighed on him. 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. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee already sent a letter to the White House Counsel preemptively demanding Trump not stop the testimony, noting it would be "seen as an effort to obstruct the truth from both Congress and the American people". Privilege also can't be used to to block a crime such as obstruction of justice.

And yet, I wait with the greatest of anticipation for Comey's testimony.

Comey is also likely to be asked by lawmakers about Trump's assertion that the former FBI chief told him three times that he was not under investigation as part of the federal probe into his campaign's possible Russian Federation ties.

However, a memo allegedly written by Mr Comey and reported in The New York Times suggested that the president asked him to end its investigation into Mr Flynn. Richard Nixon tried to use executive privilege and lost.

Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly denied he had any compromising material about US President Donald Trump in a sometimes combative televised interview broadcast on Sunday. Unlike Trump's Paris climate deal pullout which will take all the way up till 2020 to unravel, Comey is happening in real time.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign in Trump's favour, including by hacking into the emails of senior Democrats, a charge the Kremlin denies.

"I made my speech". Two meeting of Kushner will be in the spotlight - one with the Russian Ambassador to the United States and the other with the chief of a Russian bank. The memo was filed on February 14 following an Oval Office meeting with Trump and a day after Trump fired Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's ambassador.

Information for this article was contributed by Hope Yen and Julie Pace of The Associated Press and by Jordan Robertson of Bloomberg News.


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