Comey Testimony: Republicans Ready Talking Points Ahead of Hearing
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 15:14
Christie's comments come as Comey is expected to tell Congress that during a February 14 meeting in the Oval Office he believed Trump asked him to drop any investigation of fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
The president allegedly had told Comey, the day before Flynn resigned from his post, that Flynn had done "nothing wrong" in speaking to the Russians, but he had to let him go as he had misled Vice President Mike Pence.
"The President feels completely and totally vindicated", Marc Kasowitz, an attorney representing Trump in the special counsel probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, said in a statement.
Briefing at Trump Tower in NY, when Trump was president-elect. It described nine private conversations between Comey and Trump, in person and on the telephone. "And the president brings in the FBI Director and says 'please stop your investigation.' If that isn't obstruction of justice, I don't know what is". "We need to really hear what Comey's going to say under oath before we take a position on where we want to go with this". But Trump later said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he fired Comey and would have dismissed him without the Justice Department's input. They confirm a New York Times report in May that Trump had dismissed as entirely false.
The whole January 27 meeting made him uneasy, Comey said: Trump had him over for a one-on-one dinner in the Green Room at the White House, then asked him if he wanted to remain in the job for which he had seven years remaining in his term.
Asked if Trump had acted appropriately, Republican Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr said: "I don't think that from what I've read there's anything of wrongdoing, but I will match that with his verbal testimony, and weight it against the evidence of our investigation to date".
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes Comey will tell the public everything that he can. Comey said in the statement "I didn't move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed".
"We live in a country where no congressmen, no senator, and not even the president of the United States of America is above the law".
Comey went to the Oval Office for a counterterrorism briefing with other officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Comey tells Trump he can be counted on to tell the truth.
A dossier compiled by a former British intelligence official had claimed the Russian security services possessed compromising material on Trump, including that he had been recorded consorting with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel.
Comey replied to Trump that Flynn was in fact a "good guy" and one with whom he had a positive experience as a colleague when he was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Comey's response: "You will always get honesty from me".
Comey discussed the conversation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership team and it was agreed not to report the conversation to the attorney general.
"That was the last time I spoke with President Trump". I told the AG that what had just happened - him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind - was inappropriate and should never happen.