Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe

Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expressing an interest in hearing from former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey: 'Truth exists and truth matters' Lieu: Giuliani saying 'truth isn’t truth' is another step toward 'authoritarianism' Santorum: Mueller could avoid charges of McCarthyism by investigating DOJ, FBI MORE again as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The committee announced in a notice issued Friday afternoon that it has invited Comey and three other former top intelligence officials to a closed-door hearing next week.

It is unclear whether Comey plans to attend the hearing, though former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperIntel officials concerned Brennan's criticism of Trump went too far Clapper: Brennan's rhetoric is becoming an issue Trump renews calls for Mueller to investigate Clinton MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump plays 'quick round of golf' with Rand Paul in New Jersey Comey: 'Truth exists and truth matters' Giuliani labels Brennan ‘one of the biggest frauds in the history of this country’ MORE and former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersPentagon’s No. 2 official: Trump’s ‘Space Force’ could cost 'billions' Ex-astronaut: Trump's plan for a Space Force 'redundant,' 'wasteful' Pence announces first steps in establishing 'Space Force' MORE are all expected to attend.

The hearing, which is expected take place Wednesday morning, will delve into the intelligence community’s work compiling the 2017 assessment cataloging Russian interference in the election, according to the committee.

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Trump fired Comey last May, a move the president has indicated was at least partly motivated by the ongoing federal probe into Russia's election meddling. That investigation, which Comey led before his ouster, is now being spearheaded by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

It has been nearly a year since Comey’s bombshell testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee during which he recounted his version of the circumstances leading up to his firing.

Comey told the committee in June that the president directed him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and is cooperating in Mueller’s probe.

Trump has disputed Comey’s account.

More recently, Comey has attracted huge media attention for the release of his memoir that also focuses on his firing, sparking renewed criticism from the president and his allies.

The Senate panel has been investigating Russian interference since early 2017. Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrClapper: Brennan's rhetoric is becoming an issue Top Republican: Senate panel not ready to wrap up Russia probe White House weighs clawing back State, foreign aid funding MORE (R-N.C.) told reporters this week the committee plans to wrap up its investigation in August.

On Tuesday, the committee released the first portion of its unclassified report, detailing Moscow’s “unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign” against digital U.S. voting infrastructure in the states leading up to the election.