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House Democrats Warn Trump on Blocking Comey's Testimony

Image: House Democrats Warn Trump on Blocking Comey's Testimony
Rep. John Conyers (AP)

By    |   Friday, 02 Jun 2017 10:30 PM

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee Friday warned President Donald Trump that blocking James Comey's testimony next week "would be seen as an effort to obstruct the truth from both Congress and the American people."

In a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn, the Democrats said that "any such assertion of privilege is almost certainly baseless, particularly given that Mr. Comey is no longer employed by the Trump administration."

Trump fired Comey as FBI director last month. He is scheduled to testify Thursday in open session before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday that President Trump was considering whether to invoke executive privilege to stop Comey's appearance.

"We urge you in the strongest possible terms to counsel the president accordingly," said the letter, signed by ranking Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and six other committee members from his party.

"Any assertion of privilege by the President would be seen as an effort to obstruct the truth from both Congress and the American people."

Comey is expected to testify on how Trump reportedly pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into the Russian contacts of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The president also supposedly asked Comey to pledge his loyalty.

However, Trump has publicly discussed his conversations with Comey before firing him last month – and legal experts have concluded that the president most likely, as such, has waived his ability to invoke privilege.

"It is critical that the American public hears this testimony," the Democrats said in the letter.

They also told McGahn that federal court decisions have established that only two types of executive privilege seeking to protect communications by the president could apply in Comey's case.

However, "neither aspect of executive privilege would likely apply," they said.

"In short, use of executive privilege to block Mr. Comey's testimony would be a mistake.

"We caution you that it would fail on the merits," the Democrats wrote. "We also warn you that the public would likely –– perhaps rightly –– view the decision as additional evidence of obstruction of justice."

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Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee Friday warned President Donald Trump that blocking James Comey's testimony next week "would be seen as an effort to obstruct the truth from both Congress and the American people."
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2017-30-02
Friday, 02 Jun 2017 10:30 PM
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