White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not rule out President Trump’s option to block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before a congressional committee next week.
At the daily White House press briefing Friday, Spicer was asked whether Trump would seek executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.
“That committee hearing was just noticed - it’s gotta be reviewed,” Spicer said. “The date for the hearing was just set. I haven’t spoken to counsel yet, I don’t know how they’ll respond.”
A second White House official tells Fox News the White House is reviewing whether or not to invoke executive privilege regarding Comey’s expected testimony.
Executive privilege is a legal doctrine that allows the president to withhold information from other government branches.
Comey reportedly is expected to tell the Intelligence Committee next week that Trump asked him to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and his ties and relationships with Russian officials.
As FBI director, Comey was known for penning memos after meetings. In February, Comey wrote a memo that suggested Trump asked him to shut down the probe into Flynn. The memo’s existence was confirmed by Fox News.
Spicer went on to direct all questions regarding the Russia investigation to outside counsel.
“All questions on these matters will be referred to counsel,” Spicer said on Friday. “We’re focused on his agenda and all questions on this matter will be referred to outside counsel.”
The outside counsel is Trump’s long-time attorney Marc Kasowitz, whom he brought on to represent him in the Russian election meddling probe.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge, Lesa Jansen contributed to this report.