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A Look Inside the Senate Room Where James Comey Will Testify

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4 got a rare look at the Senate hearing room where former FBI director James Comey will testify on Thursday. The room is as much a theater as it is a hearing room, News4's Scott MacFarlane reports. (Published Tuesday, June 6, 2017)

    Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building is where several Supreme Court justices have faced confirmation hearings, where members of the 9/11 Commission analyzed the terror attacks and where federal judges have been grilled before impeachment.

    On Thursday, former FBI director James Comey will appear there to give public testimony that is expected to shed light on the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling and whether President Donald Trump demanded Comey's loyalty as reports suggested.

    News4 got an exclusive look at the grand hearing room on Tuesday, as staffers prepared for Comey's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    Behind the Scenes of Where James Comey Will Testify ThursdayBehind the Scenes of Where James Comey Will Testify Thursday

    Comey will sit at a witness table facing an imposing wall of pale marble.

    Members of the committee will sit before him, on an elevated dais. The United States Senate seal will hang over their heads.

    The hearing room was built for high-publicity events that draw large numbers of spectators and reporters, U.S. Senate historian Katherine Scott said.

    "Media boxes" where news organizations will set up cameras are tucked into the movable walls on a mezzanine level.

    The hearing room was first used in 1988 for hearings between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. on nuclear forces, according to press coverage from the time.

    Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor, among others, were held there, as well as 9/11 Commission hearings. Federal judge Walter Louis Nixon Jr. faced impeachment hearings there in 1989, as did judge Alcee Hastings.

    Comey will give public testimony on Thursday, followed by a closed-door session to discuss classified matters.

    A reporter asked Trump on Tuesday what message he would have for Comey ahead of his testimony.

    "I wish him luck," he said.

    Trump Wishes Comey Luck Ahead of HearingTrump Wishes Comey Luck Ahead of Hearing

    A reporter on Tuesday asked President Donald Trump what he wished to say to former FBI Director James Comey ahead of Comey's Senate testimony and Trump responded: "I wish him luck."

     

    (Published Tuesday, June 6, 2017)