President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege in order to block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.
“The president’s power to exert executive privilege is very well established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony”, Sanders said.
Trump’s decision to dismiss Comey sparked a lot of discussions through Washington last month, with the President later explaining that he fired the FBI chief with the bureau’s ongoing Russia investigation in mind.
White House officials previously stated that Comey’s dismissal had nothing to do with the Russia investigation and was carried out based on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, an argument Trump turned down by telling NBC News that his mind had been made up on the issue before meeting with Rosenstein.
Several media outlets have reported that Comey kept detailed notes of his interactions with the President, including some meetings in which Trump allegedly asked the then-FBI director to drop the bureau’s probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The content of those notes, relayed to the media largely through individuals connected to Comey, is almost certain to play a significant role at Thursday’s hearing.