James Comey is set to testify in a historic hearing

Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey.
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday in a highly-scrutinized Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Comey will face questions regarding the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, though many political observers expect the real drama to unfold as Comey discusses private interactions he had with President Donald Trump before he was fired in May.

On Wednesday, the former FBI director released his prepared opening testimony, confirming previous bombshell reports that Trump asked the FBI director to pledge loyalty to the president, as well as call off the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia.

Comey’s testimony also confirmed that he took meticulous notes about his meetings with the president, and told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with Trump because he felt the conversations were inappropriate.

Trump and his top allies have already been pushing back against Thursday’s hearing.

The Republican National Committee issued talking points dismissing Comey’s testimony, while Trump’s attorney released a statement on Wednesday saying he felt vindicated by the former FBI director’s statement that the president was not personally under investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The hearing has captured the attention of much of the political world, drawing comparisons to historic hearings about the Iran-Contra scandal and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation.

Bars in Washington D.C. and San Francisco have even opened early for people looking to watch the hearings.

This post will be updated as the hearing continues.