James Comey testimony: Trump asked me to let Flynn investigation go
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 6:26
Comey says that prior to the meeting, "I discussed with the FBI's leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally". Days after Comey's firing, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to oversee the federal investigation.
Now, in this damning public account, Comey will acknowledge what Trump was trying to get him to say all along. Since then, Trump and Comey allies have traded competing narratives about their interactions. Thus far, the allegation has played as a he-said, she-said between the president and the director he abruptly removed.
- In a January 27 dinner alone with the president, Comey will testify, his "instincts" told him that Trump wanted "to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship". He then said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn".
"I'm not going to comment on those conversations", he said repeatedly. The next conversation recounted in Comey's testimony occurred on March 30 in a phone call, as Comey says the President referred to the Russian Federation probe as a "cloud" over his presidency. "I hope you can let this go.' I replied only that 'he is a good guy, '" Comey says.
He says: "The President feels completely and totally vindicated".
As for President Trump and his tweeting, we've already learned to expect the unexpected from him on social media.
"I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know, " Trump told Comey, according to the written testimony.
The White House initially said Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of the Justice Department, citing as justification a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
On Thursday, Comey will testify before the same Senate committee, where he will undoubtedly be asked some of the same questions.
In what Comey said what his final one-on-one conversation with Trump, the FBI director again assured the president that he was not under investigation in a March 30 phone call. This testimony will corroborate Trump's earlier claims, in violation of the FBI's policy about informing individuals about criminal investigations. I replied only that "he is a good guy".
The Kremlin denies USA intelligence agencies' conclusion that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign in Trump's favour, using means such as hacking into the emails of senior Democrats.
His mission was to downplay Trump's transparent attempt to have Comey drop at least part of his investigation into his campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation.
Trump has consistently pushed back against suggestions that his campaign coordinated with Russian Federation and has called the investigation a hoax. Mr. Comey says he did not respond, but simply sat silently staring at Mr. Trump.
Granted, Comey hasn't been telling this story directly over the past three weeks or so, but it seems to be changing - and not in a good way for his credibility.