02 June, 2017
The Senate Intelligence Committee said on Thursday it would hear from Comey, who was sacked by Trump on May 9, first in an open session and then behind closed doors, which would afford senators a chance to discuss classified information.
CNN first reported Wednesday about Comey's expected testimony, and said he is likely to confirm that President Trump pressured him to end the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into his campaign's suspected ties to the Russian government.
The White House also released a damaging letter from acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which Rosenstein says he wrote at the president's request, slamming Comey's conduct in the Clinton email investigation.
The subpoenas asked the agencies to provide details of any requests made by two top Obama administration aides and the former CIA director to "unmask" names of Trump campaign advisers inadvertently picked up in top-secret foreign communications intercepts, congressional sources said.
A White House spokesperson would not comment Thursday about whether a claim of executive privilege will be sought.
Comey confirmed during congressional testimony that the FBI was investigating possible connections or coordination between President Trump's associates and the Russian government. The requests were made by former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice and Samantha Power, the former USA representative to the United Nations, according to a congressional staffer, who was not authorized to disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.More news: UP police deny Rahul Gandhi permission to visit riot-hit Saharanpur
Now Comey, no longer a government official, will be free to be candid about his interactions with Trump, limited only by rules against disclosing sensitive or classified information.
Comey could testify publicly as early as next week about his conversations with Trump, CNN reported Wednesday.
"We approved subpoenas for several individuals for testimony, personal documents and business records", Reps. He said he hoped House Speaker Paul Ryan would intervene to make sure that happened.
The hearings are part of the Senate panel's probe of Russia's attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 race for the White House.
The staffer said the Democrats were informed that the unmasking subpoenas were being issued.