The showdown between Donald Trump and James Comey will be televised after all.
According to CNN, the former FBI director plans to testify publicly in the Senate as early as next week to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump "did push Comey to end his investigation into a top Trump aide's ties to Russia."
As a reminder, it was allegations that Trump was urging the former FBI director to end the FBI's ongoing probe into Michael Flynn (all allegedly written down in Comey's notebook, which so far few if anyone besides Comey has seen), that prompted the worst stock market selloff in mid-May, when some interpreted Trump's actions as an attempt to obstruct justice, with some speculating that Trump could even be impeached if Comey's allegations were confirmed.
As CNN adds, "final details are still being worked out and no official date for his testimony has been set. Comey is expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia during last year's presidential election." Additionally, it emerged that Comey has spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III to work out the parameters for his testimony to ensure there are no legal entanglements as a result of his public account, a source said. Comey will likely sit down with Mueller, a longtime colleague at the Justice Department, for a formal interview only after his public testimony.
When he testifies, Comey is unlikely to be willing to discuss in any detail the FBI's investigation into the charges of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign -- the centerpiece of the probe, this source said. But he appears eager to discuss his tense interactions with Trump before his firing, which have now spurred allegations that the president may have tried to obstruct the investigation. If it happens, Comey's public testimony promises to be a dramatic chapter in the months-long controversy, and it will likely bring even more intense scrutiny to an investigation that Trump has repeatedly denounced as a "witch hunt."
Comey's termination unleashed a firestorm of press coverage, with reports emerging in the New York Times, WaPo and elsewhere about the confrontations with Trump that Comey memorialized in memos afterward. A week after he took office in January, Trump allegedly demanded Comey's "loyalty" if he kept him on as FBI director, and he urged Comey to drop his ongoing investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's fired national security adviser, in a separate, one-on-one meeting.
"The bottom line is he's going to testify," the CNN source said. "He's happy to testify, and he's happy to cooperate."