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James Comey reportedly willing to testify before Congress — but only under one condition

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin calls President Donald Trump's purported statements to former FBI Director James Comey an "obstruction of justice." (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Donald Trump, Comey is reportedly ready to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but he has one important condition that must be met if he is to testify: The hearing needs to be held in public.

The New York Times reported on Friday “a close associate” of Comey told reporters for the Times Comey is willing to testify, but he wants the hearing to be conducted in public. Comey rejected an invitation offered by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday to testify in a closed-door session.

Since Comey was fired on Tuesday, Democrats have said the firing could be linked to the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign officials’ potential ties to Russian operatives. Some Democrats and many liberal media pundits have said they suspect it’s possible the Trump campaign, or members within it, colluded with Russia to help defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“Was this really about something else?” Schumer asked on Wednesday about Comey’s firing. “No doubt we’ll have an opportunity to question Mr. Comey, now a private citizen, about what happened. But we need to hear from this administration about what happened and why and what is going to happen next.”

On Saturday, Trump told reporters he could name Comey’s replacement within a week.

"I think the process is going to go quickly," Trump said. "Almost all [the candidates for the FBI job] are very well known. They've been vetted over their lifetime, essentially. But very well known, highly respected, really talented people. And that's what we want for the FBI."

The Washington Examiner reported there are four candidates being considered by the Justice Department for the top spot at the FBI: “Four candidates are reportedly being considered by the Justice Department: Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas; former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and New York state judge, Michael Garcia; and former Justice Department Criminal Division Chief Alice Fisher.”

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