Comey account could fuel obstruction accusations against Trump

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 8, 2017

He will say he deemed Trump's overture merely a matter of discomfort for him, particularly since he was intending to proceed apace and the president had not invoked any repercussion against him for that.

"President Trump knew firing Comey would be detrimental to his presidency, but he knew it was the right thing to do for the country, so he did it anyways", according to a set of talking points the Republican National Committee is providing to Trump-backers.

At the time he was sacked, Comey had been overseeing the investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign for months.

"It was very concerning, given the FBI's role as an independent investigative agency".

Comey says here that Trump did not specifically seek the "assurance", but his "reaction" prompted Comey to offer it.

"He said he would do that and added, 'Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.' I did not reply or ask him what he meant by 'that thing.'" - Comey describing an April 11 phone call with Trump in which he told the President to contact the attorney general instead of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director directly.

"The question really is not whether the president has obstructed justice", he said.

"The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda".

But Comey was not the only one who reportedly leaned on by Trump. Nine times, Comey said. (When Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, looks in, a while later, Trump also asks him to stay out of the conversation.) This insistence on a one-on-one meeting suggests what prosecutors like to call "consciousness of guilt".

He also wrote that he began writing memos after his first private meeting with Trump, a briefing at Trump Tower on January 6.

Comey had not acceded to the President's request that he cease the investigation of Flynn and the connection to Russian Federation, and he paid the price with his job.

He said "the most serious allegation is the statement by Director Comey that the President asked him essentially not to pursue the investigation of Gen. Flynn", but that "the President, I presume, will say that he never said anything like that".

The White House's stated reasons for firing Comey were contradicted by the president himself, raising questions about whether Trump had fired Comey to derail the Russian Federation investigation.

"He is a good guy and has been through a lot". "I hope you can let this go, '" Comey said in remarks posted on the website of the Senate intelligence committee.

That turns out to be the last meeting between Trump and Comey, but the two talk by phone at least twice more before Trump fires Comey on May 9. Comey said in the statement "I didn't move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed".

Americans found out through prepared testimony on Wednesday what James Comey will say in his opening statement, including that the president wanted a "patronage relationship" and asked for his "loyalty".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the second-ranking official at the Department of Justice who signed a letter recommending Comey's dismissal, also testified on Wednesday, as did acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after Comey was sacked.

The RNC has already begun briefing its state parties, members of Congress and surrogates in preparation for Thursday's hearing.

Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top government officials to leave the Oval Office on February 14 before urging Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn. "Plus, to repeat, he did not order Comey to end the investigation". He had called me at lunchtime that day and invited me to dinner that night, saying he was going to invite my whole family, but chose to have just me this time, with the whole family coming the next time.

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