Recently fired FBI Director James Comey will be grilled with questions on Thursday when a U.S. Senate committee that includes Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri,
holds a public hearing. It will focus on Russia’s hacking of U.S. elections and if President Donald Trump’s campaign was involved.
Comey was fired last month, leading critics to question whether Trump obstructed justice. Media reports say Trump could attempt to block Comey from testifying on Thursday, but Blunt disagrees.
“I think that everybody benefits from getting the information that needs to be out there, ask the questions that need to be asked and frankly insist that he answers the questions that need to be asked,” says Blunt.
The Trump administration says it will not try to block Comey from testifying.
“The country as well as the president deserve a hearing here and a conclusion. Hopefully the best place to get that conclusion will be the largely bi-partisan, ongoing efforts of the Senate intel community,” says Blunt.
Comey is only the second director to be fired in FBI history. President Bill Clinton fired William Sessions in 1993.
Blunt supports Trump’s decision to fire Comey.
“I think it’s unlikely that any investigation he would have managed the conclusion would have been widely accepted by whichever side felt like the investigation didn’t end the way they wanted it to,” says Blunt. “I do think a lot of his decisions over the last year, both in July and October, are highly questionable.”
Blunt points to Comey holding a news conference last July and breaking with longstanding tradition and policies by publicly discussing the Hillary Clinton email controversy and calling Clinton’s handling of classified information “careless”. In October, Comey said the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation, leading to an uproar of criticism about the timing of the announcement. The presidential election was set to occur within days of Comey’s announcement.
“It will be interesting to hear why he decided to do that, at some point in the future, maybe this week,” says Blunt.
Blunt tells Missourinet the timeline for the committee to finish its work will somewhat depend on Robert Mueller, who is serving as special counsel in the investigation.
“We just need a red light or green light to where we say we want to talk to these people. We don’t need a lot of nonsense from the Justice Department about ‘you really can’t talk to anybody until we’re done because we don’t know who we’re going to talk to.’ It’s time for everybody to know who they’re going to talk to,” says Blunt.
He says the bi-partisan committee is holding a hearing today with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.
A Washington Post report said Trump asked Coats and Rogers to publicly deny that Trump associates had ties to Russian officials in the election hacking. Michael Flynn was fired as national security adviser in February, after his relationship with Russian officials came into question.
Thursday’s U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing begins at 9 a.m. CST.