Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Trump won't assert executive privilege to block Comey's testimony

Trump won't assert executive privilege to block Comey's testimony

Asked about the White House's Friday confirmation that its lawyers were reviewing whether executive privilege would apply to Trump's conversations with Comey, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the president would not do so.

She said "the president's power to exert executive privilege is very well-established", but Trump would not exercise it in this case.

Comey has alleged that Trump suggested he drop the investigation into former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Earlier, the White House had said that Trump was considering the use of executive privilege to halt Comey's testimony. In a tweet on May 12, Trump said Comey had better hope "that there are no "tapes" of our conversations" - a warning against leaking information to the media.

Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday.

Asked on June 1 whether Trump would invoke executive privilege over Comey, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told ABC's Good Morning America, "The president will make that decision".

Comey is expected to be questioned about the circumstances of his firing and allegations that Trump has tried to stifle the agency's Russian Federation investigation and divert attention to intelligence leaks that have hurt his administration.

Trump has, since he booted Comey, called him a "showboat" and "grandstander" who needed to go.

Trump on Monday outlined his legislative principles for overhauling the air traffic control system, using a White House address to propose separating air traffic control operations from the Federal Aviation Administration, a key priority for United States airlines. Comey was subsequently fired by Trump in May.

This week, Trump is focusing on plans to invest in US infrastructure, with several events scheduled.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, said he expected Comey's testimony would not be his last before Congress.

News has yet to confirm whether or not they will carry the hearing live. The White House denied that version of events. The Justice Department later appointed ex-FBI director Robert Mueller as the special counsel.

"I know the Senate Judiciary Committee has made a similar request of Mr. Comey and I support their request", Schumer said in remarks as the Senate reopened on Monday after a weeklong recess.

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