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White House rules out possibility of Trump invoking executive privilege to block Comey's congressional testimony

President Trump will not attempt to block former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday, officially putting to rest the question of whether Trump would try to invoke executive privilege to do so. Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, is slated to testify Thursday in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his conversations with Trump regarding the ongoing investigation into Trump's ties to Russian election interference. The hearing will mark the first time that Comey has spoken publicly since he was abruptly fired.

Sanders said that while the president's "power to exert executive privilege is very well established," Trump will avoid excersing that power to "facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday he did not know whether Trump would invoke his executive privilege, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway had left the question open-ended, though she indicated Comey would likely be allowed to testify.