Comey testifies before Congress, confirming that the FBI is investigating "the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".
Reporters and congressional aides still recall, from memory, exact passages from Comey's 2007 congressional testimony about racing up the steps of a hospital to interdict George W. Bush White House officials seeking to bypass him in a surveillance dispute and get to the ailing attorney general, John Ashcroft.
The probe has hung over Trump's presidency since he took office in January and threatens to overwhelm his policy priorities. A source familiar with Comey's thinking recently tol. There were a number of bombshells Tuesday evening.
President Donald Trump, left, greets House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., before the start of a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Sources say the parameters set by the two men - who are friends and former colleagues at the Justice Department - were aimed at avoiding the possibility that Comey's testimony could taint any criminal case that Mueller might ultimately bring.
"Don't you like the suspense?"
But, he added, Republicans on the committee might attempt to discredit Comey's testimony. "In fact when I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won, '" Trump said. "The American people, on a subject as serious as this, are entitled to the whole truth and nothing but".
Comey is scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee.
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The events involving Coats show the president went further than just asking intelligence officials to deny publicly the existence of any evidence showing collusion during the 2016 election, as The Washington Post reported in May.
Keen to crack down on leaks, the Trump administration quickly announced the arrest of a 25-year-old intelligence contractor on charges of violating the espionage act.
Comey's testimony before the Senate intelligence committee marks his first public comments since he was abruptly ousted by Trump on May 9.
In a House hearing last month, Coats and Rogers refused to discuss reports that Trump also had sought to pressure them to ease up on the Russian Federation inquiry.
Mr Comey is expected to tell Congress that he never assured President Trump that he was not under investigation over alleged links to Russian Federation, a version of events that would contradict the president's claims. He called Mr. Comey a "showboat" during a TV interview and followed up by reportedly telling Russian officials visiting the White House that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief was a "nut job".
Revelations that Nixon secretly taped visits in the White House, and refused to turn over the audio tapes under subpoena, led to his resignation in 1974.
The nonprofit Great America Alliance said Tuesday it would air an ad calling Comey "just another DC insider only in it for himself".