FBI director James Comey has issued a letter to Congress that he intends to reveal the number of FBI interviews with Russian officials and foreign intelligence officials.
The letter was obtained by The Washington Times and was written in the wake of reports that former national security adviser Michael Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.
Comey said he wanted to be transparent about the number, which will be made public when he gives the FBI a briefing on Tuesday.
The FBI has been conducting the inquiry for months, with Comey’s letter saying it was looking into “the extent to which Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
Comey has said that Russia was attempting to help Trump win the election.
He said in a statement to Congress on Friday that he is prepared to share more information on the investigation when he has it.
“As I have said repeatedly, I will be sharing with Congress more information as it becomes available,” he said.
Comey’s decision to disclose the number is likely a way to further the investigation into Trump associates and Russia.
But the letter also comes as Congress grapples with the fact that Trump, the president, fired Comey.
The former FBI director testified before Congress in January that Trump asked him to end the investigation of Flynn in June of last year.
“Mr. Comey confirmed that he told the president that he was not under investigation and that he could end the Flynn investigation,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said at the time.
“I know the president was angry with Mr. Comey for not letting Flynn go.
But he also knew that Comey was not the only person with knowledge of the president’s desire to end this investigation.”
On Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee said that it would hold a hearing on the Russia investigation, which has prompted a backlash among Republicans, who say the Democrats are stonewalling.
“We need to know exactly what we are going to find,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s top Democrat.
“There’s a big difference between knowing something and knowing it is true.
I don’t think that the president would have fired the director if he knew that.”
Comey’s comments came as a separate report suggested that Flynn had misled Pence about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The Times reported Thursday that Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said Flynn had made a false statement to Pence about an Oval Office meeting in December, but that he had not given Pence “confirmation that he discussed sanctions with Russia.”
Trump fired Comey earlier this week, saying he wanted a special counsel to investigate the Russia matter, saying Flynn’s dismissal had compromised national security.
But a top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said on Thursday that it was “not necessary” for the president to fire Comey, and called on the FBI to “reject this false allegation and its political motivation.”
In the letter to the Senate, Comey said that he wanted “to be transparent” about the FBI interviews, adding that he would share the information when he had it.
Comey wrote that the interviews and the briefings he had given to the committee would be “the first public statement of the nature” of the investigation, and would be made available in the coming weeks.
The committee is expected to hold its hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday, the same day that Comey is expected tell lawmakers what he knows about the investigation.
Comey is known for having a reputation as an aggressive, combative and often combative chief of the FBI.
But some Democrats have criticized Comey for being too cautious in handling the Russia inquiry.
“This is an important moment for the FBI,” Sen., Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) said on MSNBC Friday morning.
“He wants to be able to tell us more about what he’s seen, what he has heard.
And then we have to have an investigation.”
He added that Comey’s appointment has “got us in a lot of trouble.”
On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.) called on Comey to resign over his handling of the Flynn probe, calling the FBI director a “political appointee.”
The White House on Friday said it is confident that the FBI will continue to cooperate with congressional oversight, but did not give a timeline for when Comey would be replaced.
“James Comey has served his country faithfully and effectively and the American people expect him to continue to do so,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“The FBI has made the right decision in dismissing Mr. Flynn’s case and the Justice Department will be reviewing the decision.
But no American should be left in the dark about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election.”