Comey's Testimony: A Viewers' Guide

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 8, 2017

Fired FBI Director James Comey will testify under oath Thursday that President Donald Trump repeatedly pressed him for his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing his White House by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russian Federation ties.

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.

After a meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, the then-FBI director even "took the opportunity to implore the Attorney General [Jeff Sessions] to prevent any future direct communication between the President and me", Comey writes.

In other words, Comey wasn't going to declare publicly that Trump wasn't under investigation so that he wouldn't need to then tell the public if Trump was. "It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election they should have won'". "I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau". What's more, Comey testifies, he wrote detailed memorandums following each unsavory encounter.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump announced that he planned to nominate Christopher Wray, a former Justice Department official, as Comey's successor. Comey said he responded, "You will always get honesty from me".

The irony? At long last, Comey did exactly what Trump wanted: told the world that he wasn't under investigation as of March.

FBI kept option of Trump investigation on the table br/ Still, Trump pressed Comey a couple of times to "get that fact out publicly", according to Comey.

"As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner", Comey wrote, "it is possible we understood the phrase "honest loyalty" differently, but I decided it wouldn't be productive to push it further".

The testimony, Comey's first public comments since his May 9 firing, unfolds against the extraordinary backdrop of an FBI investigation that has shadowed the Trump White House from the outset and threatens to cripple its agenda. She then referred questions about Comey to the president's outside counsel, Marc E. Kasowitz. From those remarks, we get the first real confirmation that Comey had indeed, on multiple occasions, told Trump that he wasn't under investigation. Nine times, Comey said. Their first meeting occurred in Trump Tower on January 6 during a briefing with leaders of the intelligence community. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee in March that the FBI was investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, the nature of any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, "and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".

"It would have been quite another matter to fire (Comey) if (Comey) had said, 'Yes, you are under investigation, ' " said Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Republican leadership team.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Intelligence Committee published Comey's prepared remarks for his testimony before that body Thursday.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats refuses to publicly discuss private conversations he's had with President Donald Trump. "I don't believe it's appropriate for me to answer that in a public session", Coats told Sen.

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers says he's never been asked to do anything illegal or felt pressure to do anything immoral during his three years as head of the intelligence agency. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, lamented that the witnesses could have laid to rest questions about what the president told them about the Russian Federation probe, but they chose not to answer.

"The testimony underscores how Trump is his own worst enemy", Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada, said in a statement.

In the speech, the president also pressed the Senate to send him a health care bill, criticized congressional Democrats as "obstructionists" and revisited his controversial decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

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