Community Members React to Comey's Hearing
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 13:42
Comey said Trump fired him on May 9 to try to undercut the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe. But lawmakers have asked the FBI to investigate whether Sessions had a third, undisclosed encounter in April with Kislyak at a hotel in Washington, where Trump gave a major foreign policy address.
Legal experts have mixed thoughts on whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice in his conversation with Comey.
Coffey said not only was Comey's testimony not a "smoking gun", it actually "gave both sides ammunition".
"I spoke to the attorney general, and I spoke to the new deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein, when he took office, and explained my serious concern about the way in which the president is interacting, especially with the FBI", Comey testified.
The Trump administration had cited differing reasons for James Comey's firing which were later contradicted President Trump himself, after he acknowledged on May 11, that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation probe. He argued the committee's interest in questioning Comey is a ploy by Democrats to distract members of Congress, and the nation at large, from their mandate - to return Christ to the Capitol.
Asked why he thought Trump fired him, Comey said he did not know for sure.
Staff also kept the president busy, with a series of meetings and events.
"Knowing my father for 39 years when he "orders or tells" you to do something there is no ambiguity, you will know exactly what he means", Trump Jr wrote.
"It confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russian Federation investigation", he said. Comey wanted to get his account out, perhaps encouraging the appointment of a special prosecutor.
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over the president's. Mr Trump later contradicted his own staff and acknowledged on May 11 he fired Mr Comey because of the Russian Federation matter. And on Thursday, Comey said "in the main, [the article] was not true".
'I didn't think any new information came out.
"It's my judgment that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", he told the 15-strong committee.
Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey's admission that he had told Trump on multiple occasions that he was not personally under investigation and maintained the testimony made clear that Trump "never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone".
"In conclusion, it is important to note that after his initial meeting with career ethics officials regarding recusal (and including the period prior to his formal recusal on March 2, 2017), the Attorney General has not been briefed on or participated in any investigation within the scope of his recusal". "The American people deserve to know the truth", he said. He thinks Sessions knew what was up.
"For the sake of our republic and to protect future elections, we need to get this right".
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Comey quoted Trump as saying. He is a good guy.
And then, months later while being cross-examined in public about the incident, the former employee is shamed again when asked: "Why didn't you tell anyone?"
"That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI's work and that's concerning".
He testified that Lynch pressed Comey not to call the FBI's Clinton email an "investigation", but instead call it a "matter".
But Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who sits on the intelligence committee, said the matter was nowhere near over.
"What did he do, if anything?". Look, you're a big, strong man. Was there a pause for a moment? "He didn't say anything".
Trump, who spent time meeting with Kasowitz after returning from the speech, also declined to answer shouted questions about the testimony at a panel with governors and local government leaders who had come to the White House to talk infrastructure. Was your decision influenced by the attorney general's tarmac meeting with the former president, Bill Clinton?
The White House stood behind Sessions.