The White House on Monday said United States President Donald Trump will not use his executive privilege to thwart former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey from testifying before the Congress. The statement lays to rest speculation that Trump would try and stall Comey from making a statement against his administration on June 8.
“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,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said.
Comey was fired purportedly because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton emails controversy. He had also been leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. However, a letter informing Comey of his dismissal did not state exactly why he was being fired – it had merely said he was “not able to effectively lead the Bureau”.
American intelligence agencies believe that the Kremlin influenced the result of the November 8, 2016 election, in which Republican candidate Trump had stunned most pollsters by defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The FBI started an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the election in March. Both Trump and Russia have repeatedly denied the allegations.