Former FBI Director James Comey will testify in open session before one of the legislative committees investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation, committee leaders announced Friday.
Comey has not spoken publicly since President Donald Trump abruptly fired him less than two weeks ago amid his agency's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Trump on Thursday lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election, tweeting that it was "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
The open hearing will be held after Memorial Day, North Carolina Sen.
The FBI's investigation seeks to determine whether and to what extent Trump associates were in contact with Kremlin operatives, what business dealings they might have had in Russian Federation, and whether they in any way facilitated the hacking and publishing of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails during the presidential campaign. But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Testifying in an open session, rather than a closed one, ensures that Comey's testimony will be public. According to the newly-revealed document, Mr Trump told Russian officials the day after Mr Comey left his job: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I".
He was also said to have told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak that "I'm not under investigation".
In another Twitter post Thursday, Trump said: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed".
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"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", he said. The adviser under scrutiny is not named, but described as someone close to Trump.
The White House also has acknowledged that Kushner met with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, in late November.
The newspaper cites the White House's official written account of the Oval Office meeting.
White House hopes that Trump could leave scandalous allegations at home were crushed in a one-two punch of revelations that landed shortly after his departure.
He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing.
According to the Post, the people familiar with the matter said the probe has sharpened into something more fraught for the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department - particularly because of the public steps investigators know they now need to take, the people said.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Congress Friday he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticizing Comey.
"This is a truth hunt", said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.