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Former FBI director James Comey agrees to testify before Senate Intelligence Committee
20 May 2017, 09:39 | Terri Saunders
A date of this open hearing would be scheduled after the Memorial Day, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said yesterday.
Washington, May 20 Sacked FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before a Congressional committee in an open session about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential polls past year.
After news broke that Comey will answer questions in an open format during an appearance at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, the two leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee - chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. - said they were "disappointed" in Comey's decision not to answer questions from their own committee.
While the White House initially pointed to a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlining Comey's mismanagement of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, as the impetus for his termination, Trump later admitted that the Russian Federation investigation - which he has called a "hoax" - played a role.
White House aides initially said that Trump fired him on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, but the President later contradicted his aides and said he had already planned to fire Comey.
Graham said he was "surprised" Comey would agree to testify at all, "given the fact that we now have a Special Counsel who will likely be investigating matters related" to his conversations with Trump.
"Comey served his country with honour for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story". Warner said he also expects Comey to, "shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election". "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it", wrote Warner in a statement.
The White House has denied a media report suggesting that President Donald Trump had asked the sacked FBI chief James Comey to end the investigation against former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.
That flies in the face of the White House's public insistence that Mr Comey's dismissal was not linked to his ongoing investigation.
Following additional calls from several members of Congress for Comey to testify, Comey reiterated his willingness, but until now there was no official commitment.
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Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, called the appointment a "good decision". White House officials such press secretary Sean Spicer had said as recently as Tuesday there was no need for a special counsel .