Former FBI Director James Comey to testify on Russian investigation

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 8, 2017

Former FBI Director Comey's testimony is set to begin at 9 am tomorrow, and he will take questions from the US Senate Intelligence Committee after entering these prepared remarks into the Congressional record.

In response to news reports of Trump's request Comey drop the investigation into Flynn, administration officials wondered why Comey had not informed Attorney General Jeff Sessions of the interaction if he was so concerned about it. Comey said he did not tell Sessions because he expected the attorney general to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe, which he did two weeks later.

Read the full text of Comey's testimony here. But below are some pivotal highlights.

McCABE: Sir, I'm not going to comment on conversations the director may have had with the president. This had not been my practice in the past. As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase "honest loyalty" differently, but I decided it wouldn't be productive to push it further. Since then, Trump and Comey allies have traded competing narratives about their interactions.

In that conversation, the president repeatedly complained to the Federal Bureau of Investigation director about leaks, and Comey said he agreed with him about the harm caused by leaks of classified information. And then, because the setup made me uneasy, I added that I was not "reliable" in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth.

A day or two after the March 22 meeting, the president followed up with a phone call to Coats, according to officials familiar with the discussions. Comey associates say that before the director was sacked in May, the president had asked him to drop the investigation into Flynn, and Comey refused. "We simply looked at each other in silence", Comey says. The conversation then moved on. Comey responded that he would offer honesty. "We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted", Comey said.

Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but demurs on a slew of questions about the FBI's investigation, particularly in questions about Trump. He repeated that Flynn hadn't done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. There's bipartisan agreement, the email says, that Comey "needs to answer a simple question about his conversations with President Trump: If you were so concerned, why didn't you act on it or notify Congress?" He is a good guy. "I did not say I would "let this go".

Comey only replied: "'I agree he is a good guy", according to the memo.

Trump and Comey break bread together at the White House in what Trump would later describe as one of three times Comey told him he was not the target of the FBI's investigation into potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior adviser Jared Kushner lingered in the room, but the president told them to leave, too, according to Comey. You'll have an opportunity to ask him those then.

That could get expensive, and boozy - Trump had 12 tweets or retweets on Tuesday, with at least six fairly certainly authored by the president himself. But from a political and appearance perspective, Trump just suffered another major setback. He said the lawmakers will likely try to flesh out Trump's actions.

Early Wednesday, Trump announced his pick to succeed Comey at the FBI - Chrstopher Wray, a former Justice Department official who served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's lawyer during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation.

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