For the first time since he was fired by Donald Trump on May 9, former FBI Director James Comey will tell his side of the story — under oath — when he testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, with a live stream of his highly anticipated testimony available to view on this page, below.
Comey’s testimony is scheduled to get underway in Room 26 of the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, 7 a.m. Pacific, on Thursday, June 8. The text of Comey’s prepared opening statement may also be read in full, below on this page.
But not only will Comey be challenged to confirm or deny reports that Trump asked him to slow or stop the FBI investigation into the ties between Russia and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign — questions that Washington insiders say he is unlikely to address in a direct fashion — but the fired FBI head also faces an unprecedented character attack coordinated by allies of Trump, possibly with Trump’s own blessing.
The Trump allies have even resorted to producing a TV ad scheduled to run on both CNN and Fox News Thursday, casting Comey as a “showboat” who “put politics over protecting America.” The themes expressed in the TV ad will echo similar attacks pushed by Republican in the days leading up to Comey’s testimony, including Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, who claimed that Comey had been “detested” by most of official Washington.
In a public appearance on Tuesday, Trump was asked about Comey’s upcoming testimony and responded only, “I wish him luck.”
To watch a live stream of Comey’s testimony on Thursday — an appearance that has been described by political pundits as “Washington’s Super Bowl” — click on the video below, courtesy of PBS Newshour.
Trump has also said that he may post his reactions to Comey’s testimony in real time on his Twitter account. To follow the live tweet stream from the @RealDonaldTrump account, click on this link.
Comey will read a detailed opening statement before taking questions during his testimony, and that statement will discuss in detail nine conversations that he had with Trump while FBI director. Comey also says that, from his appointment by President Barack Obama in September of 2013 until the day Obama left office, he had only two conversations with the Obama.
Read the full text of Comey’s prepared opening statement in advance of his Thursday testimony, below.
Watch a brief summary of the events leading up to Comey’s “Super Bowl” testimony, in the video report by The New York Times, below.
In the week prior to Comey’s testimony, Trump and his White House advisers reportedly discussed attempting to bar Comey from discussing those conversations, claiming that were covered by executive privilege. But this week, the White House revealed that Trump would not try to invoke executive privilege and would allow Comey to testify without restraints.
Based on Comey’s opening statement released on Wednesday and reports from political insiders, Comey’s testimony is likely to focus less on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice by pressuring him to stop the Trump-Russia investigation, and more on whether Comey assured Trump that he, personally, was not under investigation.
In his letter of dismissal to Comey, Trump strangely included the sentence, “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” Trump also claimed in an interview that Comey assured him that he, personally, was not being investigated by the FBI. But Comey in his testimony is expected to contradict Trump, and to deny that he ever gave Trump any such assurances.
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