US President Donald Trump will not stop fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying before Congress, White House confirmed Monday afternoon.
"The President's power to assert executive privilege is well-established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate intelligence committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony," a White House statement said, clearing the decks for fireworks on Thursday.
It’s the James Comey week in America as the country’s news networks sharpen tools for their biggest show since election night in 2016.
Such is the pressure for entry into the press gallery that Senate media minders have scheduled a meeting Monday with the Intelligence panel to figure out how many reporters will be allowed - usually about 120, not including photographers, find space in the press section of the hearing room.
The 6 ft 8” James Comey will be the most talked about, most watched, most-Googled, most trending man on Planet Trump during the climax on Thursday morning 10 am when he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on whether Donald Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the investigation into Russia’s possible meddling in the US Election 2016.
Signs are clear that the siege within the Trump White House will only escalate followed likely by strong condemnation of whatever Comey says unless the former FBI chief gives Trump an all-clear.
If Comey delivers a lethal cocktail of evidence to suggest that Donald Trump did block justice, the US President’s political challenges will mount dramatically.
Trump’s Twitter rants have taken on a nervous edge as a tense week begins for the President.
Twenty four hours before Comey takes the stage, others will get bit roles in the high stakes showdown.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who wrote the memo which the White House used to fire Comey will testify. Rosenstein later saved face by appointing a special counsel - Robert Mueller - to take over the Russia investigation which is fast turning into a hall of mirrors with few equals since the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.
Already, there is word that special counsel Mueller's investigation is growing and could even include Rosenstein’s role in the decision to fire Comey, who was investigating the Trump campaign.
During the testimony, senators on both sides will grill Comey on the following:
- Was Comey under pressure to shut down the Russia investigation
- Did Trump demand his loyalty?
When Comey learnt about his sacking, he thought it was a joke.
Whether he thinks Donald Trump is a joke or is just plain malicious, the whole world will know on Thursday.
So, how does this thing end? In its simplest terms, either the FBI will write charges or prove nobody did any wrong.
Right now, Russia’s meddling in the Donald Trump campaign and the 2016 election has neither been proven nor set aside.
Donald Trump is the only US President since Nixon to sack the official who was leading a formal investigation into his dealings.
Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 03:36 AM