White House Won’t Seek to Block Comey Testimony

(CN) – President Donald Trump will not assert executive privilege to block fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying on Capitol Hill, the White House announced Monday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said while the president’s power to invoke executive privilege is “well-established,”Trump wants to allow for a “swift and thorough examination of the facts” related to Comey’s firing and the multiple investigations into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

Comey is scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee. His appearance will mark his first public comments since he was abruptly fired by the president last month.

White House officials reportedly weighed trying to block Comey by arguing that his discussions with the president pertained to national security and that there was an expectation of privacy.

But officials concluded taking that step would be could well be a public-relations fiasco, and far worse than the risk of letting the former FBI director testify freely.

Legal experts have also said that the president likely undermined his ability to assert executive privilege by publicly discussing his dealings with Comey in tweets and interviews.

 

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