Former FBI Director James Comey will have the nation captivated next Thursday when he testifies before a Senate panel about the stunning accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into his former national security adviser’s ties to Russia.
But can Trump stop Comey from talking?
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday that “the President will make that decision,” raising the prospect that the White House may try to invoke executive privilege over Comey’s conversations with Trump.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said later Friday the decision by the White House counsel’s office hasn’t been made yet.
“That committee hearing was just notice and I think, obviously, it has got to be reviewed,” he said.
When pressed on that not being a no, Spicer added: “Literally, my understanding is the date for that hearing was just set. I have not spoken to counsel yet. I don’t know how they are going to respond.”
Legal experts, however, are skeptical the President could successfully invoke the privilege to muzzle Comey because Trump has already written a letter about their conversations, talked about them publicly and even tweeted about them.
In other words, they say, the President can’t use the privilege as a sword in one context and a shield in another.