Donald Trump will not stop James Comey testifying against him, says White House

The former FBI's Director's appearance is much anticipated

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The Independent US

It is on. The White House has said it will not try to use its powers to stop former FBI Director James Comey from testifying against Donald Trump.

There had been speculation Mr Trump would seek to invoke executive privilege to prevent Mr Comey testifying before congressional investigators looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s alleged effort to interfere with the election.

Last week, White House Sean Spicer said Mr Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee had to be reviewed by the White House counsel’s office before a decision was made. 

“I have not spoken to counsel yet. I don’t know how they’re going to respond,” he said.

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters in Washington on Monday, that a decision had now been taken not to try and interfere with Mr Comey, or what he had to say

Trump denies that he urged Comey to close Flynn investigation

“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,” she said.

Mr Comey was fired by Mr Trump as he was overseeing the FBI probe into possible links between the New York tycoon’s campaign with Russia. After he was fired, it was reported that Mr Trump had sought a pledge of loyalty from Mr Comey and then asked him to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

Mr Trump was forced to fire the former general after it emerged he had lied about his contacts with Russian officials.

Reports suggest Mr Comey has spoken privately with Robert Mueller III, the appointed by the US Justice Department to take charge of the investigation, to ensure he does not discuss evidence that it crucial to his case.

However, CNN has said Mr Comey is likely to discuss his various conversations with Mr Trump, when he appears on Thursday. It is known that Mr Comey is someone who keeps extensive notes of his official meetings and interactions.

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