Officials say Trump may not try to block Comey's testimony

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The White House is weighing whether to block James Comey from testifying about his conversations with President Donald Trump, ahead of an eagerly-anticipated public hearing scheduled for Thursday.

U.S. Senators said Former FBI Director James Comey will be grilled on whether President Donald Trump tried to get him to back off an investigation, into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday that the Senate Intelligence Committee could use the help of a special investigator as its sprawling investigation into Russian meddling in the November election - and whether there was any collusion with President Trump's campaign team - continues to widen.

On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not rule out Trump invoking executive privilege. After all, Comey is the same 6-foot-8-inch former FBI Director who attempted to "blend in" with the blue drapes during a previous White House visit with his then-boss, President Donald Trump, who fired him last month.

"Director Comey was sacked by the president And you have the president himself making derogatory comments, in effect, at least reported to the press, calling Comey a nut job.Totally inappropriate", Warner said. In addition, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate whether Trump campaign aides illegally colluded with Russian Federation. In fact, he testified in early May that he had not been pressured at all for political purposes to end any investigation, which strongly suggests that Trump's questions about Flynn were just clumsy attempts to help out a friend - as Comey also apparently thought at the time.

Legal experts and Democrats say Trump would have a weak case if he were to attempt to go the executive privilege route. "I don't know how they are going to respond", Spicer said.

Members of both houses of Congress shied away last week from predicting what Comey will say.

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Presidents have often invoked executive privilege, and they have mostly failed when challenged in court.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was sacked as national security adviser in February following reports he had discussions with Russian diplomats prior to Trump's inauguration.

Amid a political firestorm touched off by Comey's firing, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel last month to take the lead on the Russian Federation investigation. Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was paid $45,000 to speak at the event.

"I said to myself, I said "You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", Trump said.

Putin downplayed Flynn's appearance with him at a December 2015 gala dinner in honor of the Russian television network Russia Today, which USA officials consider a state-run propaganda outlet. I - I understand people's curiosity about our work and intense interest in it, and as Mr. King said, oftentimes, speculation about it. And then afterwards I was told, "You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things".

Comey was sacked last month amid his agency's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. "He used to be in the security services", Putin said. I didn't even really talk to him.

Sewell: What level of proof do we need in order for us to have a criminal investigation by the FBI of Mr. Flynn?