Trump May Block Comey's Testimony Via Executive Privilege

In a March hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey for the first time announced the full scope of what had been known until then as the Russian Federation investigation.

But the New York Times quoted the President in the memo as saying he "hoped" Lt. Gen. Flynn wasn't prosecuted because he was a "good man", to which Comey replied he agreed he was a good man. Democrats cited the report as proof of obstruction of justice, something legal experts mocked.

Fired FBI Director James Comey may tell the Senate Intelligence Committee next week that President Trump suggested he ease off at least part of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

Meanwhile, White House officials said they did not know Friday evening if Trump will seek to block Comey from testifying, a move that is certain to spark a high stakes political firestorm.

Graham said he wants to hear from Comey on whether the president himself is under investigation for possible collusion with Russian Federation during the campaign. Basically, don't hold your breath waiting for some explosive revelation about the Trump-Russia investigation during Comey's testimony.

Mr Comey was sacked by Mr Trump on May 9 - removing him as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a time when the agency is investigating the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.

An adviser to Trump's campaign and prominent speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Flynn was sacked less than four weeks after Trump's inauguration after claims that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the USA, during the presidential transition. Trump can not use executive privilege to keep Comey from testifying about discussions that may point to potential misconduct, and that's especially true now that Trump has already made those discussions public. But when asked directly whether Trump would invoke executive privilege to block Comey from speaking, she said, "The president will make that decision".

In striking down a president's attempts to use executive privilege, courts have focused on the reason the privilege was being asserted - was it to protect sensitive information in the public interest, or an attempt to hide potential evidence of misconduct?

The requests to unmask the names of Trump associates underwent the same stringent evaluations that U.S. privacy laws and intelligence regulations require for all such applications, and they produced nothing out of the ordinary, said the four officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Franken said that Mueller would determine if a crime had taken place, specifically whether the president obstructed justice, an impeachable offense, when he dismissed Comey earlier this month. Warner said he meant to use that time to ask Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers about reports that Trump had urged them to say publicly there was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Dating back to 1974 in US v. Nixon, the US Supreme Court recognized the "President and those who assist him must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately".

Democratic Representative Jackie Speier said it appeared that Nunes was "more concerned with pushing the White House narrative than seeking the truth". The fact that he has publicly admitted to having conversations with Comey would likely prove problematic for him.

A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) in the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., on February 28, 2017 and FBI Director James Comey in Washington U.S. on July 7, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he barely interacted with Flynn at a dinner in Moscow in 2015. "So basically, if Comey really wants to testify, realistically there's nothing the Trump administration can do to stop him", Ohlin said.

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