Committee issues subpoenas; Comey OK’d to testify
The House intelligence committee said Wednesday it is issuing subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s former national-security adviser and his personal lawyer, as well as their businesses, as part of its investigation into Russian activities during last year’s election.
In addition to those four subpoenas, the committee has issued three others – to the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA – for information about requests that government officials made to “unmask” the identities of U.S. individuals named in classified intelligence reports, according to a congressional aide.
The subpoenas were announced as the special counsel overseeing the government’s investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia has approved former FBI Director James Comey to testify before the Senate intelligence committee, according to a Comey associate.
At a Wednesday briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said inquiries about the Russia investigation must be directed to Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. It marked the first time the White House had officially acknowledged that outside counsel had been retained. Calls and emails to Kasowitz’s New York firm were not immediately returned Wednesday.
The Comey associate, who wasn’t authorized to discuss details of the testimony and spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to discuss the content of Comey’s planned testimony. The associate did say that Robert Mueller, whom the Justice Department appointed earlier this month to lead the government’s inquiry, is allowing Comey to make certain statements.
Lawmakers are likely to ask Comey about his interactions with Trump as the bureau pursued its investigation into his campaign’s contacts.
Associates have said Comey wrote memos describing certain interactions with Trump that gave him pause in the months after the election, including details of a dinner in which he claimed the president asked him to pledge his loyalty and a request to shut down the investigation of Flynn.
A spokesman for Mueller, a former FBI director, declined to comment. Mueller’s separate probe could conceivably look at the circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing.