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Will Comey address these essential questions in his testimony?

08 June 2017

It's been a month of extraordinary drama since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, rife with leaked details of private memos detailing awkward interactions with the president and the rare appointment of a special counsel to alleviate concerns of White House interference in an ongoing investigation. "Congress must now determine whether the Director's refusal to do either - or any other motivation to interfere with or obstruct any part of the Russian Federation investigation - led ultimately to Comey's firing".

There is, finally, this bit of irony at the heart of Comey's testimony.

And Comey is poised Thursday to take that fact out of the realm of anonymous (and accurate) reporting and formally place it in the record publicly, under threat of perjury if it's not true.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House probe, said he wants to know if Trump's request for loyalty and that Comey drop his Flynn investigation ultimately led to Comey's firing.

This set of circumstances would have made executive privilege a problematic claim, at least politically, as it would have signaled that Trump thought there was something to hide in that conversation.

Things get stranger from there, when Trump tells Comey: "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty".

But Comey was not the only one to suggest pressure from Trump.

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The White House initially said Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of the Justice Department, citing as justification a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Trump returns to the salacious allegations against him, calling them disgusting and saying he's considering ordering Comey to investigate and disprove them.

The president, who often spends hours watching the news alone, will monitor the testimony as time allows in a White House dining room with his legal team and his closest advisers by his side, two aides said.

Wall Street shares ticked up on Wednesday, despite sharp decline in energy prices, after written testimony from Comey did not add major revelations about an investigation into Russian meddling with last year's US presidential election. Why didn't Comey report it at the time, or when he first got fired, rather than waiting for the invitation from the committee to testify? Sen.

In short: Comey's public hearings tend to be explosive news-fests.

Comey's answer would depend greatly on his credibility with the committee members, and the public. Unfortunately, Comey dissipated his credibility with both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill during the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into Hillary Clinton.

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Democrats want to tease out more information. Having already done that once, Comey did it all over again just days before the election in a move which Democrats insist cost them the presidential election. And just before he was sacked, Comey defended all those actions, leading some Democrats in Congress to call for his termination.

On Tuesday, Trump was asked what his message for Comey would be.

Thursday's testimony before the Senate intelligence committee is expected to be his most dramatic yet.

Trump complained the investigation was a "cloud" over his administration that needed to be lifted, Comey said.

Comey also may have stepped on his own credibility more recently as well.

A day before Comey's much-anticipated testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's prepared remarks were officially released, bringing into public view new details in the Trump-Comey saga. Per online news site Circa, Comey politely declined to answer based on now being a "private citizen".

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Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr emphasized the urgency of Comey's testimony during the hearing. He is widely expected to use Twitter to counterpunch at Comey on Thursday, perhaps even during the hearing.

Will Comey address these essential questions in his testimony?