“WASHINGTON — In the annals of political theater, there may be little precedent for James Comey’s scheduled appearance before a Senate committee Thursday. For the first time, the former FBI director is expected to speak publicly about his conversations with President Trump before he was abruptly fired in the midst of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia.
But Comey’s career has been shaped by unusual public dramas, in which he has been cast as a central and often controversial figure.
Until disclosures last month that Comey had maintained a file of memos detailing his communications with Trump, including a February meeting in which the president allegedly pressed the then-director to shut down the bureau’s investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the former director had been at the center of firestorm for his pre-election handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And well before that, however, Comey staked out unusually public positions on a range of hot-button issues that have characterized a historic and contentious tenure in public service.