Senate Intelligence Committee Asks Comey to Testify Publicly for Russia Interference Probe

May 17, 2017

The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested former FBI Director James Comey to testify in both open and closed sessions for its investigation of Russia's influence in the 2016 U.S. election.

In letters sent Wednesday, the leaders of the committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to release "any notes or memorandum" prepared by Comey related to his conversations with "senior White House and Department of Justice officials related to investigations into Russia's efforts."

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the committee, sent the requests just a day after the New York Times reported that President Trump had urged Comey to shut down his investigation former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote about the meeting.

The White House denied the report, which was also confirmed by a number of national news outlets, including NBC News, the Washington Post, ABC News and CNN, among others.

Just days he was fired, Comey declined to testify in front of the committee in a closed session.

But with news of his memo, some senators have said it is now even more important for Comey to testify.

"If he [Trump] did something inappropriate with Director Comey the best way to find that out is to call him before the committee and before the country and to find that out. That’s the way to do it," Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday.

Trump cited Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State as reason for his dismissal. But Democrats and some Republicans had questioned his timing and motives, since Comey had been involved in investigations into whether Trump's campaign had colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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