"WASHINGTON — James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, will testify publicly about his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible connections to the campaign of President Trump, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday.
Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation, including his several conversations with Mr. Trump since his election, has taken on added importance since his dismissal and subsequent reports that the president had asked Mr. Comey to shut down part of the inquiry, and then later called him a ‘nut job’ in meetings with Russian officials.
‘I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,’ said Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the committee. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, said he expected Mr. Comey to ‘shed light on issues critical to this committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.’
The announcement that Mr. Comey would testify followed closely the disclosure by the Justice Department that Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had talked with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about replacing Mr. Comey last winter, before either man had been confirmed for his position in the Trump administration.
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Democrats Escalate Calls for Trump Inquiry, With Republicans More Reserved MAY 16, 2017 Mr. Rosenstein revealed that detail in two briefings to members of Congress this week, according to remarks released Friday by the Justice Department. His testimony provides fuller details about Mr. Trump’s termination of the top law enforcement official investigating whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
During his meetings with lawmakers, Mr. Rosenstein said that his conversations with Mr. Sessions revealed his long-held belief that Mr. Comey should be replaced based on his public statements related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton, beginning in July 2016.
‘Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the F.B.I., respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks,’ he said, echoing the sentiments he had outlined in a May 9 memo that the White House released publicly that day and cited as the basis for the firing.
But on May 8 — the day before Mr. Rosenstein drafted that three-page memo, he told lawmakers — he had learned of Mr. Trump’s intention to remove Mr. Comey from the job.
‘I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader,’ he said, expressing more direct support for the firing than he had in his more measured memo, which stopped short of endorsing a particular action but rather outlined what he called Mr. Comey’s ‘serious mistakes’ and noted that any possible decision to dismiss Mr. Comey ‘should not be taken lightly.’
Mr. Trump acknowledged, in an interview with NBC News, that he had decided to fire Mr. Comey before reading the memo by Mr. Rosenstein.
The release of the testimony followed what was otherwise an unremarkable appearance before House members on Friday, the day after he briefed senators, that left many lawmakers frustrated by Mr. Rosenstein’s refusal to answer questions about the investigation into Russian meddling in the election."