James Comey Declines to Testify Before Senate, Committee Aides Say

Fired FBI director was invited to speak in closed session with Intelligence Committee, Politico reports

James Comey
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

James Comey has declined an invitation from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify in a closed session on Tuesday, Politico reported, citing committee aides.

The former FBI director was fired earlier this week by President Trump; click here to read his professional “Dear John” letter. The search for a replacement is ongoing.

Comey became particularly well known to Americans last year when he spearheaded an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Many believe the formal and public review of her personal email usage for government matters hurt her in the 2016 presidential race.

Trump has been criticized on both sides of the isle for the abrupt termination of the FBI head.

On Friday morning, POTUS warned recently-fired Comey not to leak to the press during a Twitter rant, hinting at “tapes” of their private conversations.


Later on Friday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer would not confirm or deny whether the White House has recording devices to which Trump alluded.

During an interview on Thursday with NBC News’ Lester Holt, the president described Comey as a “showboat.” Trump also said that Comey told him he was not under investigation for potential ties between his campaign and Russia.

“I actually asked him,” Trump said. “I said, if it’s possible would you let me know, ‘Am I under investigation?’ He said, ‘You are not under investigation.’”

During the interview, Trump claimed that Comey told him once over dinner and twice by telephone that he isn’t under investigation.

The president also contradicted an earlier White House statement claiming that Trump fired Comey after a memo recommending the dismissal was sent from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Instead, Trump told Holt that he had already planned the firing and requested a memo from the Department of Justice to support his decision.