Comey to Testify in Open Session on Russia Investigation

James Comey, the former FBI director, will testify publicly about his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible connections to the campaign of President Donald Trump, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday. "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it", wrote Warner in a statement.

The New York Times has reported that Trump asked Comey for his "loyalty" during a private dinner and requested he drop the investigation into Michael T. Flynn, his former national security adviser, who is under scrutiny regarding his ties to Russian Federation and Turkey.

The Times reported Friday that Trump told the Russians that recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a "nut job" whose ouster relieved "great pressure" on him.

Presumably, the pressure was lifted because Trump had just fired the "crazy" Comey, who he also allegedly described as a "real nut job".

Mr. Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that Mr. Comey was a "nut job", according to the Times, citing notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a USA official. It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

"This is a thorough investigation of what happened in the 2016 election, and it can go anywhere", said Republican representative Mark Walker of North Carolina.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the account.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are also probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Comey's highly-anticipated testimony, which will be slated after the Memorial Day congressional recess, comes after he was sacked by Trump May 9 amid a mounting investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election and possible ties between Trump campaign associates and the country.

"I came out of there knowing that I trust this deputy attorney general, that I trust this special counsel and while he didn't answer many questions, he had a clear reason for not answering", Cleaver said.

Mr Rosenstein said, although he was personally fond of Mr Comey, "I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader".

Burr says the committee wants to hear from Comey on his role in the development of the USA intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian Federation interfered in last year's election.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the FBI and congressional investigations as a "hoax" and blamed disgruntled officials at intelligence agencies for leaking information related to the probes.

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings called Trump's reported comment "astonishing and extremely troubling".

He says he asked career Justice Department lawyers to review the memo.

The memo focused on Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, particularly the FBI director's decision to divulge details to the public at various junctures during her presidential campaign against Trump.

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