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James Comey agrees to testify in public hearing

051917 Comey agrees to testify publicly pic
FILE- In this May 3, 2017, file photo, FBI Director James Comey listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump's firing of Comey added a new layer of uncertainty to the agency's corporate criminal investigations. What might an FBI without a permanent leader, even for a short time, mean for ongoing cases of corporate misconduct? (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Chairman Richard Burr announced Friday.

"The committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media," Burr said in a statement.

No specific date has been set yet, but the statement said the committee expects the testimony to happen sometime after Memorial Day.

Comey was abruptly fired last week, causing a wave of criticism from Democrats and others saying the quick move from President Trump was because Comey was getting too far in the FBI's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections, and was also looking into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

However, no evidence to date has yet been brought forward that shows any type of collusion.

Not long after Comey was fired, reports surfaced of a memo Comey made after a meeting with Trump in February. The reports said Comey's memo indicated Trump had asked him to back off the investigation of Mike Flynn, the president's former national security adviser.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to take over the Russia investigation, prompting some initial worry that the creation of a special counsel might prevent Comey from testifying in public.

The news that Comey will publicly testify caps off a week of leaks and reports that have kept the White House on defense, even as Trump begins the first overseas visit of his presidency.