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Comey to testify publicly before intelligence panel

Posted at 4:08 PM, May 19, 2017

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee, committee leaders announced Friday. Panel Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner said they will schedule the hearing for after Memorial Day. A date has not been set.

"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," Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said in a statement.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel, said Comey's testimony would help "answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President."

Comey's testimony was sought from numerous congressional committees after news broke last week that he had written a memo stating President Donald Trump had asked him to drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

But it was still an open question whether Comey would appear publicly, and many lawmakers began to doubt he would testify after the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the allegations between Russian officials and the Trump organization associates.

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah announced a hearing next week for Comey to testify, but he did so before he had even made contact with Comey, and it's unlikely Comey plans to attend next week. Chaffetz, who announced Thursday he was leaving Congress at the end of June, has requested Comey's memos, along with the Senate Judiciary Committee.