Fired FBI Director James Comey has been cleared to testify in Congress – and plans to corroborate accusations that President Trump pressured him to squelch an investigation of former national security advisor Mike Flynn, according to reports.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has cleared Comey to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, NBC reported, citing a former law enforcement official who would not say whether Comey would be authorized to discuss his interactions with the president.
According to a CNN report, Comey is expected to back up press reports that Trump tried to pressure him into getting the FBI to back off an investigation of Flynn.
People close to Comey have said he wants to clear his name through public testimony.
Trump, after firing Comey, cited him for ‘poor performance,’ among a variety of other faults.
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.
His testimony, which could come next week, comes as the FBI and congressional panels are probing Russian election interference and contacts with Trump associates during and after the campaign.
The Intelligence panel has subpoenaed documents from Flynn and other Trump associates.
The president blasted the probes online as a ‘witch hunt,’ in just his latest attack on the investigations.
Intelligence panel said on May 19 that Comey would testify after Memorial Day.
Any statements Comey makes about conversations with the president could cut to the heart of whether or not he tried to interfere with an FBI investigation, something that can be a crime if it amounts to obstruction of justice.
A New York Times report citing notes Comey took after the incident says Trump asked him in relation to the Flynn probe: ‘I hope you can let this go.’
In an interview with NBC, Trump said the Russia investigation, which he considers unfair, was on his mind when he decided to fire Comey.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday in a pair of missives, ‘So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don’t want him to testify. He blows away their … case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing ‘the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan…’ Witch Hunt!’
He was referring to former campaign advisor Carter Page, who has also come under scrutiny by investigators for his trip to Moscow during the campaign. Page has called out ‘false narratives’ of any inappropriate Russia contacts.