Comey hearing: Refresher on Russia-Trump investigation

Comey is making his first public comments since being fired by President Donald Trump and, according to his prepared remarks, will talk about the president's efforts put the investigation behind him.

Asked at the National Press Club in Canberra what he thought the critical differences were between Watergate, which brought down then President Richard Nixon, and Mr Trump's troubles, Mr Clapper replied: "Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we're confronting now". He was outright fired, only learning about it from a news report while on an Federal Bureau of Investigation business trip in Los Angeles.

Yes, but the circumstances around the firing raised concerns with lawmakers, even some of Trump's fellow Republicans. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee in March that the FBI was investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, the nature of any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, "and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".

In dramatic written testimony, Comey said Trump told him at a meeting in the White House in February, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go". Comey said he reminded Trump that he had previously told him that.

Did Trump fire him to stop or slow down the investigation?

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she was unsure if the president had reviewed Comey's testimony.

Meanwhile, the chiefs of two other USA intelligence agencies yesterday said they have never felt pressured by Mr Trump's administration to stonewall the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the United States election, contradicting reports. But Democrats weren't reluctant to say they were troubled by what they had heard. It's why Comey, in his own tortured words, pledged "honest loyalty" to Trump during a private meeting.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called Wray "tough, qualified, and principled", but added that "I look forward to sitting down with him to discuss both his commitment to our justice system and his vision for restoring public trust".

"What you're seeing is a president who is now very publicly learning about the way people react to what he considers to be normal New York City conversation."
He also told the president later on that he had shared that information with congressional leaders. They were found on the computer of former Congressman Anthony Weiner who was under investigation for explicit online communications while he was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

"That concerned me greatly, given the FBI's traditionally independent status in the executive branch", Comey said.

No definitive evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation has yet come to light.

At King & Spalding, the Yale Law School graduate chairs a unit representing entities and individuals in white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement issues, civil litigation and internal corporate investigations, according to the law firm's website.

Other concurrent investigations are going on in the House Intelligence Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism.

The prepared testimony also details other interactions between the president and FBI chief, including informing Trump he was not personally under investigation and the president's demand for "loyalty" from Comey.

Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department last month as special counsel in charge of the investigation.

"Come on. you know you want to watch the drama unfold this Thursday", the bar wrote on its Facebook page.

The committee Comey will appear before is particularly interested in Flynn's ties with Russian officials. "That does not make it criminal", said Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who writes for the conservative National Review.

  • Larry Hoffman