Comey will testify next Thursday, June 8, before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including any coordination between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.
The Senate’s main interest in Comey concerns the nature of his encounters with Trump and whether Comey took contemporaneous notes of their meetings.
One such memo reportedly written by Comey, leaked after his firing on May 9, detailed a conversation between him and the president in which Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” referring to the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign as Trump’s national security adviser on Feb. 13 after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Trump said last month he was planning on firing Comey and was thinking of Russia when he made his decision.
“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’ Trump told NBC News in an interview.
He revealed to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting that firing Comey, whom he referred to as a “nut job,” eased the pressure from the Russia investigation, according to The New York Times.
Trump has maintained that he’s not under investigation and that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia during the election. He has dismissed the various Russia probes as a “hoax” and “witch hunt.”
Comey’s public hearing is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. ET on June 8, with a closed-door session in the afternoon.