Ousted FBI Director James B. Comey has always been expected to testify before the Senate, but now the much anticipated visit to Capitol Hill might come sooner rather than later.
Multiple media outlets, including CNN, have reported that sources have said the testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee might come just after the Senate returns from recess next week.
The committee’s leadership had previously indicated the hearing would be scheduled after the break.
“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” Chairman Richard M. Burr of North Carolina said in a May 19 statement.
Citing a person familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal reported that Comey is expected to testify in open session that President Donald Trump sought to have him back down on investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has been under scrutiny for his reported connections to Russia.
The reports that Comey’s testimony may come as early as next week also said that he has discussed the situation with fellow former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, in an effort to avoid causing any complications for Mueller’s work as special counsel in charge of the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 campaign and any related issues. NBC News reported that Comey had been “cleared for takeoff” by Mueller.
During a briefing with reporters Wednesday at the White House which was not on camera, Press Secretary Sean Spicer for the first time referred a question about Trump’s actions in relation to the FBI’s Russia probe to the president]s outside counsel.
John T. Bennett contributed to this report.