Recently-fired FBI Director James Comey will not appear in the Senate Intelligence Committee's closed session for the investigation on the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia scheduled next Tuesday.
Chairman Richard Burr ( R-N.C.) and top Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia had invited Comey to appear in the said session. Warner made the announcement that Comey will miss appearing before his panel in an interview on MSNBC Friday. Democrat lawmakers were specifically looking forward to the presence of Comey in their session as they said it would have given him a first chance to discuss with them the circumstances of his firing, from his perspective.
It is interesting that Warner's announcement came only after President Trump issued a warning to Comey on Twitter Friday, declaring that the ousted FBI director "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversation before he starts leaking to the press!"
The President has made the 'threat' to Comey following wild media reports that he is being besieged by internal leaks about his decision to fire Comey, painting him as "angry" and "paranoid".
Trump's tweet has also enraged anew Democrats and some of them speculated that it appears to be a response to a New York Times story in which sources close to Comey supposedly said the former FBI director refused to pledge loyalty to the President which allegedly angered Trump. The Democrats have also demanded that they be provided with copied of the "tapes"- if they exist.
Spicer did not confirm the existence of such tapes in his press briefing earlier and only said that the President had nothing more to add beyond what he tweeted. Spicer also declined to comment on Trump's tweets.
Warner also said that it is their hope that in the near future they could find a time for Comey to come in and talk to the committee handling the investigations.
No reason was given for Comey's non-appearance in the session, and it was not fully clarified also whether such was his personal preference or those of the Democrat lawmakers, and if Trump's warning tweet has anything to do with the latest development.