James Comey to testify before Senate next week about Russian Federation

Posted June 02, 2017

Former FBI director James Comey will testify publicly in front of the Senate next week in the ongoing investigation into links between Donald Trump's administration and Russian Federation, according to USA media reports.

He is likely to be asked about conversations with Mr Trump in which the president reportedly asked him to drop an investigation into former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned when the details of his telephone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. were made public.

He is expected to be questioned about reports that Trump tried several times to convince him to back off of the investigation. "This action would have been taken without the minority's (Democrats') agreement", said a senior committee aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives also have committees conducting their own probes into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Cohen, who'd earlier refused a request for information saying it was "not capable of being answered", told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he would comply with subpoenas, should they be issued.

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At a minimum, Kushner's chat with the Russian ambassador about establishing a back-channel line of communication is worrisome. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Kushner has been willing to answer questions.

Mr Trump has denied any collusion between Russian Federation and his campaign and has questioned claims by United States intelligence that an operation authorised by Mr Putin including hacking, fake news and propaganda attempted to influence the election.

The Intelligence panel has subpoenaed documents from Flynn and other Trump associates.

Putin has denied conducting such a campaign.

Mr Flynn resigned in February after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.

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It is possible that the Trump White House could try to raise executive privilege claims in arguing that any conversations with the president could not be discussed publicly.

He will appear in an open session in the morning and a closed session following that in the afternoon, Bloomberg reported.

Sessions later admitted having the meetings but said they were part of his Senate duties and were unrelated to the campaign. He said the unmasking subpoenas are not part of the Russian Federation probe.

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