Former White House counsel John Dean said Friday that President Donald Trump had "no leverage" should he claim executive privilege over James Comey testifying before Congress next week because he fired him last month as FBI director.
"I don't think there's an executive privilege to be invoked," Dean, who counseled President Richard Nixon and was implicated in the Watergate scandal, told Kate Baldwin on CNN.
"If a president wants an executive privilege, it's typically negotiated with the committee and not with the witness.
"But in this situation, there's no leverage over Comey should he decide he wants to testify about his conversations with the president," he added.
"These are not the kind of conversations that have ever fallen within the scope of executive privilege – particularly since they have shades of potential obstruction of justice or show a pattern of obstruction."
Comey is scheduled to testify Thursday in open session before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Trump is considering whether to invoke privilege to stop the testimony, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday.
Comey reportedly has met with Robert Mueller, also a former FBI director who was named special counsel in the Russia investigation last month.
Dean said he did not believe those meetings presented a potential conflict for Comey heading into the hearing.
"They're both professionals," he told Baldwin. "They're both former prosecutors. They're both former directors of the FBI.
"If anybody can walk the fine line and say what should be said and refrain from saying what should not, it's Jim Comey.
"He's a professional," Dean added. "I think we'll see in it action in these hearings."
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