James Comey's testimony proves Trump obstructed justice, says senior legal analyst
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 6:02
During more than two hours of testimony, Comey also said he believed Trump had directed him in February to drop an FBI probe into the Republican president's former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of the broader Russian Federation investigation.
Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this week, speaking publicly for the first time since he was sacked by President Trump almost a month ago.
Comey was confused about why he was sacked over the Russian Federation investigation and by the explanation that Trump gave to the public. So, yes, this testimony is a pretty big deal.
Mr Comey's remarks echoed a memo he had written about his interaction with the president, which was described to various news outlets.
"I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document", Comey said.
Comey submitted a seven-page opening statement on Wednesday, a day ahead of his appearance before the Senate's Committee on Intelligence.
"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", Comey's statement says.
Jeffrey Toobin, a former counsel with the Department of Justice and current legal analyst, tweeted that "Comey's statement establishes obstruction of justice by Trump".
The White House said Monday it would not invoke executive privilege over Comey's upcoming testimony - officials predicted it would look bad otherwise. Comey told the Senate Intel Committee he wanted to get out into the public his version of what went down. In particular, Comey was to touch on the allegations that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
"When I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story". Comey made it a practice to create a written record of each time he spoke with Trump, though he had not done so with the previous president.
"The way in which you were fired by the president is utterly shocking", Warner will say, according to his prepared remarks. "During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump's reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance".
"Why do that unless you're conscious that what you're about to ask is not an appropriate request", Schiff said in response to the statement. "President, this is wrong, '?" Republicans said Comey "plays fast and loose with the truth". "Maybe if I were stronger I would have".
"I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in", he said. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00AM ET on Thursday, June 8th, during which Comey will provide his testimony and answer questions. Clinton has blamed Comey's October 28 announcement that he was re-opening the email investigation for her defeat.
Photographers captured the scene Thursday outside of the hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
In his opening statement later, Mr Comey is expected to say: "On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the Federal Bureau of Investigation". "We had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling".
Many Democrats still blame Comey for Clinton's loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey last month.
"There should be no fuzz on this".