Former FBI director Comey to testify publicly

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File: FBI Director James Comey makes a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

WASHINGTON - Former FBI director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a date to be set sometime after Memorial Day, committee leaders announced Friday night.

The public commitment to testify comes after a tumultuous week and a half since President Donald Trump dismissed Comey as FBI director - a move that perplexed both committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., who vowed to bring Comey before the committee nonetheless to testify as part of their probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including potential ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials.

Earlier this week, Burr and Warner made that invitation formal, inviting Comey to appear before the committee in both an open and closed session, despite Comey's indications that he wanted to appear only in an open setting.

In their announcement Friday, Burr and Warner announced that Comey would testify in open session, and that they would schedule that session sometime after Congress's Memorial Day break.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media," Burr said in a joint statement announcing Comey had agreed to testify.

"I hope that former Director Comey's testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President," Warner said in the same statement. "I also expect that Director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election."


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