Trump's personal lawyer punches back at Comey

So it confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russian Federation investigation, and learned, again from the media, that he was telling privately other parties that my firing had relieved great pressure on the Russian Federation investigation.

That probe includes an examination of whether Trump aides colluded with the Kremlin campaign to hack into American political organizations and leak stolen documents.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) asked Comey why he started writing memos about his meetings with Donald Trump.

Comey told the Senate that Trump had asked him for a pledge of loyalty and encouraged him once to shut down the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

"I've seen the tweet about tapes".

His written testimony said: "I replied, "You will always get honesty from me". Comey on Thursday called for those tapes to be released to the public.

"I am a prosecutor".

Comey said Trump fired him on May 9 to try to undercut the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe.

Kasowitz slammed Comey for leaking the material.

He also revealed he had orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation. In addition to the eye-popping claim that the Russian government was blackmailing Trump with an explicit videotape, the document included allegations that Trump campaign officials met with emissaries of the Russian government to hammer out an agreement: that Russia would provide damaging emails it hacked from the DNC and the Clinton campaign to WikiLeaks in exchange for assurances from Trump that he would not discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine during the campaign.

Comey's statement confirms that Flynn was under criminal investigation while serving as national security advisor, a position that would have granted him access to some of the United States' most closely guarded national security and intelligence programs. "He never said it in form and he never said it in substance", Kasowitz said. But he added that he was confident the recently appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller, would be looking into the question. Today, Comey called Trump's bluff, saying, in one of the money quotes of his testimony: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes". "That's Bob Mueller's job to sort that out", Comey said. Comey said in his opening statement that his leadership team at the FBI agreed not to share this with Sessions for the following reason: "We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations".

But Christie, who had listened to some of the testimony before arriving at the South Brunswick event, said he didn't hear or read anything from Comey's testimony that suggested Trump broke any laws. Chris Christie said Thursday President Donald Trump is "getting an education" on how people may misinterpret some things he has said since taking office.

News of undisclosed meetings and communications between Trump aides and Russian officials have dogged the early months of the administration and have undermined the White House's policy agenda.

The testimony raised questions about whether Trump sought to obstruct justice, and strongly recalled Comey's similarly dramatic appearance before Congress in 2007, when he detailed his refusal to re-authorize a wiretapping program in defiance of the George W. Bush White House.

Though Comey did tell Trump he wasn't under investigation several times, Comey and Trump's stories also don't align regarding the setting and circumstances of the conversations. Collins, Comey admitted he was behind the leaked memo to the New York Times about his February 14 conversation with Trump regarding the Flynn investigation. At some point, the search for a crime will run its course and fade away, but it is up to the White House to be surefooted and keep mistakes to a minimum.

Thursday's hearing included discussion of that email investigation, as Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer to the issue as a "matter", not an "investigation".

  • Salvatore Jensen