Comey to testify in public before Senate Intelligence Committee

Ousted FBI Director James Comey will testify in a public hearing before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee after Memorial Day, the panel announced Friday.

Comey has not spoken publicly since President Donald Trump abruptly fired him less than two weeks ago amid his agency's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media," said Republican Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, who chairs the committee.

The White House originally pointed to a recommendation from acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticizing Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server as the impetus for his firing. But Trump said later that he had already decided to let Comey go.

The New York Times reported today that Trump told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that Comey's firing had relieved pressure on the White House amid the ongoing Russia investigation. Trump also called Comey a "nut job." The investigation is now in the hands of a special counsel, as well as multiple congressional committees.

"Director Comey ... deserves an opportunity to tell his story," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the panel's top Democrat. "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it."

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