Trump's lawyer accuses Comey of 'unauthorized disclosures' of 'privileged' talks with president

Kasowitz also slammed Comey for admitting he had allowed a friend to leak his memos to the press in hopes the revelations would spur appointment of a special counsel to the Russian Federation investigation. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused in the Russian Federation probe, Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had the authority to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel. But he declined to offer an opinion on whether it met such a threshold.

President Trump's outside lawyer flatly denied that the president ever asked former FBI Director James Comey for a pledge of loyalty, and he accused Comey of disclosing privileged communications with the president to the news media, without authorization.

Kasowitz also cast doubt on Comey's explanation as to why he chose to leak a memo describing the Flynn conversation after Trump had fired him as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Still, there's no doubt the veteran lawman made for a challenging adversary.

Analysts said Comey, an intensely by-the-book, non-political law enforcer whose handling of a separate investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton a year ago nevertheless may have cost her the presidential election, was studiously avoiding accusing the president of a crime. "I would just add that of course there needs to be a degree of independence between DOJ, FBI and a White House and a line of communications established". However, the president's comments and tweets make that argument "tough".

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", was nearly certainly the quote of the day, an allusion to Trump's May tweet: "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

"The president feels completely and totally vindicated". But in the moment, it didn't come to my mind. What could put the president in hot water with Special Counsel Robert Mueller now are his alleged attempts to lean on Comey to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "I took it as, this is what he wants me to do".

Comey said he had hoped the leak would prompt the appointment of a special counsel, which later occurred. "You've got to take it all together, '" Comey said.

Comey learned of his abrupt dismissal while giving a speech, and said he was sorry he didn't get a chance to say farewell to his former colleagues. "I have no idea", she said.

Former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of firing him to try to undermine the bureau's investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign team and Russian Federation. Instead, Kasowitz pushed back and the president remained conspicuously silent on Twitter during the hearing despite expectations he might respond.

What's still not clear is why Trump was so eager to protect Flynn, especially since - according to Comey - the president was perfectly fine with the FBI investigating whether "satellite" members of his campaign had done anything wrong. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. President, this is wrong, '?"

"That's a great question". "Maybe if I were stronger I would have".

"Well, there's a reason that was given but I just don't buy it..." But it remains unclear what Comey couldn't testify about Sessions publicly.

Comey could not elaborate what the "problematic" issue was in the open hearing.

He appeared before the committee to talk about what led to his firing by President Donald Trump, and had some choice words for the president (as well as a few others). The opposite occurred, as the firing created a political firestorm that has stalled Trump's legislative agenda and taken over Washington.

"There should be no fuzz on this".

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"At one point the attorney general asked me not to call it an 'investigation, ' but to call it a 'matter.'"

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  • Carolyn Briggs