Senate hearings rarely get so much attention, but the eyes of the world will be squarely focused on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday (8 June), as the ousted FBI chief James Comey testifies for the first time.

In one of the most anticipated hearings for decades, Comey is expected to lay out exactly what was said between Trump and himself.

It will be the first time since his firing that Comey will speak about events over the past few months and he'll face probing questions from the committee about the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Donald Trump has claimed that Comey told him that he was "not under investigation" and in his letter firing Comey, Trump wrote: "I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation."

The president also allegedly asked Comey to drop the investigation into his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, a move that prompted the former FBI boss to document the conversation in a memo.

Trump was asked directly at a press conference if he in "any way, shape or form" asked Comey to "back down" from the Flynn investigation, to which Trump replied, "No. No. Next question."

Despite this, he is not expected to accuse Trump of obstructing justice, instead opting to simply give his account of the investigations and his meetings with the president.

The president has allegedly described Comey as a "nut job," while a new ad by a pro-Trump group is targeting Comey by calling him a "showboat."

When asked during a press briefing on Tuesday (6 June), press secretary Sean Spicer didn't say whether Trump was planning to watch the hearing or not, adding that he has a "full day."

Trump is expected to be attending an event during the later stages of the testimony, but the president who is known for his active tweeting, could engage in the hearing during the first hour or so.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeted: "Told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond."

The president's tweets have come under fire in recent days following a spat over security with the London mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of the London Bridge attack.

Another issue that is expected to be raised is reports that Trump asked Comey to offer a pledge of loyalty to him shortly after taking office.

Trump decided against invoking his presidential privilege to block the testimony.

In this latest chapter in the Trump saga, there are, as always, far more questions than there are answers.

A few of the big questions look set to be answered on Thursday, and some of those answers could have far-reaching consequences.

This article was written before the release of James Comey's written testimony- read the full statement here.

The hearing is set to begin at 10am ET (3pm BST) on Thursday 8<sup>th June.

Donald Trump greets James Comey
U.S. President Donald Trump greets ex-Director of the FBI James Comey as Director of the Secret Service Joseph Clancy (L) watches REUTERS/Joshua Roberts