Comey expected to refute Trump

According to officials, Comey was anxious Trump would try to undermine the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian operatives trying to influence the US election.

A person familiar with the situation says former FBI Director James Comey asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to keep him from being alone with President Donald Trump. At least that is according to an anonymous associate of Comey, who reportedly read to the New York Times from a memo that Comey had allegedly written and shared with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates.

Mueller's team includes former assistant Watergate prosecutor James Quarles, Andrew Weissmann, who is taking a leave from his current position heading up the Justice Department's criminal fraud unit, Aaron Zebley, former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief of staff under Mueller, and Jeannie Rhee, a former lawyer with the Justice Department.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in a report declassified in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign not just to undermine confidence in the United States electoral system, but to affect the election's outcome.

The president's critics are salivating for what they hope will be any bit of evidence that the president engaged in any wrongdoing, but it's far from clear how much Comey will be willing to say in an open hearing.

The nonprofit Great America Alliance said Tuesday it would air an ad calling Comey "just another DC insider only in it for himself".

The relationship between the attorney general and the president has grown increasingly tense since Mr Sessions recused himself from any involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, articles in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Politico said.

Sources told Yahoo! News that before the White House hired Kasowitz, several high profile lawyers turned Trump down: "Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly; Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Paul Clement and Mark Filip of Kirkland & Ellis; and Robert Giuffra of Sullivan & Cromwell".

The incidents suggest that Trump may not have appreciated the traditional barriers meant to insulate the intelligence agencies from politics.

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The request reportedly came March 22, just days after Coats' Senate confirmation.

The dramatic leaks have at times overwhelmed Mr. Trump's policy agenda and left lawmakers eager to hear directly from Mr. Comey.

Rosenstein's public testimony will be the first since he appointed - in the face of rising pressure from Congress - former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating possible links between Russian Federation and the election.

Coats talked about the issue with associates and decided it would not be proper to act, according to sources who talked to the Post.

National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will also be present at the hearing originally set to discuss a foreign surveillance law.

Trump continues to praise Comey's decision to reveal the FBI's review of new emails.

White House officials had considered trying to invoke the President's executive privilege authority to block the testimony, but they said on Monday that they would not do so. "I hope you can let this go". Some of the commentary in it - including the title - echoes public statements by Trump and other administration officials.

And while Trump said he believed Comey "asked for the dinner", former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Comey told him Trump had invited him to dinner.

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