McConnell Calls For Comey To Testify Publicly: ‘We Need To Hear From Him’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., reacts to questions from reporters about President Donald Trump reportedly sharing classified information with two Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday called for ousted FBI Director James Comey to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a public setting.

“I think we need to hear from him as soon as possible in public to respond to the issues that have been raised in recent days,” McConnell said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“I think we need to hear from him about whatever he has to say about the events of recent days, as soon as possible, before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in public,” he added.

The New York Times and several other outlets reported Tuesday that in February, Trump had urged Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Comey reportedly documented the request in a memo at the time.

McConnell’s office later said in a statement to the Journal: “It’s appropriate and timely for the Senate to hear directly from former Director James Comey in a public setting as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation.”

Shortly after he was fired, Comey declined to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. An unnamed close associate of Comey’s later told the New York Times that the ousted FBI director would be willing to testify, but only in a public setting.

Since the Times’ bombshell report on Tuesday, a bipartisan swath of Congress has come out in support of Comey testifying publicly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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