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James Comey agrees to testify in public Senate hearing

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Former FBI Director James Comey.

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15th-May-2017       
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The Independent :
James Comey has agreed to testify in a public Senate hearing regarding the investigation into alleged ties between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign team.
Mr Comey had initially declined to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing. The announcement comes the same day Mr Trump said he could name a new FBI Director as early as next week.
Mr Trump said the administration is looking at "outstanding people...very well known" and will come to a decision quickly.
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'He's a showboat, he's a grandstander': Trump lays into Comey during NBC interview
He had fired Mr Comey for being a "showboat" and eroding public trust in the FBI but had praised him repeatedly during the 2016 campaign for coming forward about the investigation into then-opponent Hillary Clinton's use of a private server to send classified emails while she was Secretary of State.
He was "not doing a good job," Mr Trump said on his decision to fire Mr Comey, adding that the thinks "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story"
Mr Trump allegedly asked Mr Comey to "pledge loyalty" during a White House dinner, but the former FBI Director felt uncomfortable doing so. It may have also upset Mr Trump that Mr Comey testified in Congress that there was no evidence to Mr Trump's wild claim that President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the 2016 election.
Mr Comey's farewell letter to the FBI seemed to indicate he felt the Russia investigation should continue. Just prior to being fired Mr Comey had requested more resources for it.
It is likely Mr Comey will be asked about the Russia probe and possibly Mr Trump's claim on Twitter that there were recordings of the pair's conversations, a comment which the president has refused to elaborate upon.
No date has been set as yet for Mr Comey's public testimony or any announcement of whether the Senate committee would be willing to hold the hearing publicly.
AP adds: James Comey cut an unorthodox path as FBI director, time and again compelled by what he described as strongly held convictions to speak with unusual candor and eloquence about the bureau's work.
It's a combination of qualities that may come back to haunt the president who fired him.
Comey's ouster Tuesday, while his FBI led an investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, raises the potential that a man long defined by his independent streak, willingness to buck protocol and even a flair for the dramatic could resurface to publicly rebut White House efforts to smear his reputation.
"He's not shy, and he's got a tremendous moral compass," said former FBI assistant director Jim Yacone. "Above all, he will want to see the truth come out."
Comey's reputation for independence predated his tenure as director and famously manifested itself in a 2004 hospital room clash with fellow Bush administration officials over a domestic surveillance program. It was a moment in history that he recounted three years later to a captivated congressional audience.
At the FBI, he occasionally got ahead of Obama administration messaging or sometimes split with it altogether, by injecting himself into weighty public policy discussions.

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