White House aide says Russia probe 'detracts' from agenda

Nichole Vega
June 6, 2017

Comey's sacking came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation probes possible collusion between the president's election campaign team and Russian Federation - which U.S. intelligence believes hoped to tilt the election in the Republican's favor. In this May 8, 2017, photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington.

“In the context of a criminal investigation, executive privilege has to give way, ” said Saikrishna Prakash, who lectures on constitutional law and the separation of powers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The president and aides can not be compelled to testify about private conversations, but Comey is appearing before senators voluntarily. That committee is expected to listen to Comey's testimony about the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling a year ago and Comey's private conversations with the president.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Donald Trump will not try to block fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying before Congress, deciding not to invoke executive privilege, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday at the White House briefing.

He reportedly has met with Mr Comey to discuss the probe, and Mr Comey reportedly sought his approval to testify before lawmakers.

"Sooner rather than later, let's find out what happened and bring this to a conclusion", Blunt said on "Fox News Sunday".

Comey's associates have said Comey told them that Trump asked him at a January dinner to pledge his loyalty to the president and, at an Oval Office meeting weeks later, asked Comey to consider ending an FBI investigation into Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Executive privilege is a presidential power that stems from the idea that the commander-in-chief should be able to enjoy honest conversations with his aides and advisers.

Flynn was sacked after less than a month because of revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press", he tweeted in May.

The White House has rebuffed questions about whether Trump was suggesting he had recorded his discussions with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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