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By Kevin Daley
President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to block former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday.
The administration did not foreclose the possibility of invoking executive privilege at some juncture in the future, but hopes Comey’s testimony will assist the committee in eliciting the facts necessary to reach a final conclusion respecting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“The President’s power to assert executive privilege is well-established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony,” the White House said in a statement Monday.
Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed those remarks during Monday’s press briefing.
Several White House officials, including Trump aide Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer, suggested that the administration might invoke executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying, as recently as Monday morning.
Executive privilege allows the president to block the disclosure of sensitive information in judicial settings.