James Comey to testify in Senate hearing on Russian Federation

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James Comey, fired last month as FBI director amid a federal investigation into connections between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, is set to testify next Thursday at a highly anticipated congressional hearing that could shed light on his private conversations with the president in the weeks before his dismissal.

The spy agency subpoenas were not mentioned in a bipartisan announcement on Wednesday that the panel approved subpoenas for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in connection with the Russian Federation probe.

The committee said Thursday that Comey will testify in an open session, which will be followed by a closed session.

Check back for more on this developing story.

Comey was sacked as FBI Director by Trump last month.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday referred all questions about the Russian Federation probe to the president's "outside counsel".

The Comey memo caused alarm on Capitol Hill and raised questions about whether Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation.

Comey confirmed during congressional testimony that the FBI was investigating possible connections or coordination between President Trump's associates and the Russian government.

Kushner sought secret communications with Russia
Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy. According to McMaster and Cohn, Kushner was a private citizen at the time, not a United States government official.

The memorandums - the contents of which have been leaked to the media and have not been denied by Comey - reportedly document the president's efforts to get the FBI to ease the investigation's focus on Flynn.

Sen. Richard Burr R-North Carolina, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Another congressional source, who also requested anonymity, said Democrats were "informed and consulted" about the subpoenas ahead of time, but some committee aides said they were not.

Comey was leading the FBI's probe into the allegations, and his firing sparked a political uproar.

Subpoenas were approved Wednesday for Flynn and his company, Flynn Intel Group, and Cohen and his firm, Michael D. Cohen & Associates.

The hearings are part of the Senate panel's probe of Russia's attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 race for the White House.

Weissman is the highest-ranking Justice Department official to join the special counsel office being set up a few blocks from the main Justice building in downtown Washington.