Comey to testify publicly next week

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, the panel announced Thursday.

Comey will testify next Thursday, June 8, at 10 a.m. during a hearing on Russian election interference, the committee said in a statement.

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Comey agreed to testify before the Intelligence committee to discuss reports that Trump pressured him to stop the FBI’s investigation related to Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election. Trump later fired Comey, publicly citing the Russia probe as his reason.

The former FBI head is sure to face questions on the bureau's investigation into Russian election interference, which he acknowledged publicly before the House Intelligence Committee in March, and the events leading up to his firing. 

Comey's ouster has fueled speculation that Trump may have worked to obstruct the investigation into any ties between his campaign and Moscow. 

Trump axed Comey in early May, a move that was initially characterized by the White House as the president acting on a recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Since, Trump himself has contradicted that narrative, saying that he would have fired Comey regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation — and indicating that the FBI's Russia probe figured into his decision-making. 

The development precipitated a new wave of controversy for the administration, eventually resulting in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.

Reports emerged Wednesday that the special counsel, former FBI chief Robert Mueller, had cleared Comey to testify publicly. Comey is expected to testify about his interactions with Trump before his firing. 

Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Top North Carolina newspapers editorial board to GOP: 'Are you OK with a racist president?' Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerElection security to take back seat at Mueller hearing Top Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (D-Va.) announced Thursday that Comey will testify in an open session next Thursday morning, which will be followed by a closed session. 

- Updated at 12:36 p.m.