WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to prevent former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week.
“The president’s power to exert executive privilege is very well established, however, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.
CBS News previously reported that Comey kept memos after meeting with the president, and those memos reportedly detailed the president asking Comey for his loyalty and to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.
Comey is expected to testify Thursday about his memos, which detail a conversation in which Trump reportedly told Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy.”
A source told CBS News Comey will remain available to Mueller and investigators.
Comey’s firing set off a firestorm of criticism. The White House initially said that Trump fired Comey after receiving a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. But the president said he had previously decided to fire Comey and that he thought about the investigation into his campaign and Russia before firing him.
According to a New York Times report, Trump then told Russian diplomats that Comey was a “nut job” and firing him relieved great pressure on him.