Ex-FBI Boss Comey Heads To The Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) - Testifying under oath in a Senate hearing watched worldwide, former FBI Director James Comey accused the Trump administration Thursday of defaming him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing by President Donald Trump.

I see only three possible explanations: that the president did not say what Mr. Comey claimed; that Mr. Comey did not feel at the time that the president's remarks were inappropriate or an attempt to obstruct justice; or that the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief did think the president went over the line but chose not to inform the oversight committees. "He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda", Kasowitz said in a statement.

Chris Christie on MSNBC Wednesday defended President Donald Trump's conversations with former FBI Director James Comey as "normal New York City conversation".

Asked if Trump had acted appropriately, 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 (Comey's) verbal testimony, and weigh it against the evidence of our investigation to date".

Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz highlighted Comey's statements in the testimony that he had told Trump twice and congressional leaders once that the President was not a target of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. Comey also said he told the president that he was not the subject of an FBI investigation. However, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said that while Trump's dealings with Comey were inappropriate, "We do not indict people for being boorish or clueless". Comey says Sessions did not reply.

Trump's personal lawyer said Trump was cheered by the testimony. "I did not say I would 'let this go"'. I love this work.

Comey walked into the hearing room, wearing a dark suit and red tie, and sat impassively while a phalanx of press photographers crowded in front of him to take his picture.

"Here, Comey says to the president-elect for the very first time ... there's no open intelligence case on him", Todd continued.

He also wrote that he began writing memos after his first private meeting with Trump, a briefing at Trump Tower on January 6.

In a statement, Trump's outside counsel Marc Kasowitz said the president felt "completely and totally vindicated" by Comey's statement. "Trump, on numerous occasions, sought fealty from the FBI Director, attempted to interfere with an historic federal investigation, and then fired Comey after both requests were spurned", he said.

And just a week before he was sacked - Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he made a decision to publicly announce his findings in the Clinton email investigation after watching Bill Clinton board a plane with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

-Did the president ask Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn? Yes.

Trump returns to the salacious allegations against him, calling them disgusting and saying he's considering ordering Comey to investigate and disprove them. But their counterparts on the House Russia investigation clearly thought the testimony could prove obstruction of justice by Trump. The seven-page written testimony that gives details the interaction that Comey had with Trump.

On top of Trump insisting that Flynn hadn't done anything wrong and that he had "been through a lot", Comey recalls Trump asking him point blank: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

May 11: Trump said he would have fired Comey, even without a DOJ recommendation. The Washington Post reported that the president also approached Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers about the Flynn probe. "'He is a good guy". Mr Trump's abrupt firing of Mr Comey outraged Democrats, who believe he was improperly trying to halt a probe that has hung over his presidency since he took office.

For a short moment it appeared the hearing may stay focused on foreign surveillance (Coat's 18-minute opening statement on the topic put one audience member to sleep.) But it quickly shifted to an intense examination of the Trump White House's handling of the Russian Federation probe.

  • Zachary Reyes