Comey to Congress: President Trump told him ‘I need loyalty’

Jun 8, 2017
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FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017.

Comey also corroborated a New York Times report that Trump asked Comey in a February 14 meeting to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.

Trump’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, released a statement on Wednesday saying the president felt “totally vindicated” by Comey’s acknowledgement that he had told Trump on three occasions that he was not personally under investigation.

Comey’s second conversation with Trump occurred on January 27 during a one-on-one dinner at the Green Room in the White House where they were “seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room”.

The official release of Comey’s remarks on Wednesday afternoon came shortly after the conclusion of testimony from Comey’s former national security peers who refused to answer senators’ questions about their own interactions with Trump.

Though numerous details in the testimony had leaked in reports over the last several months, Comey’s published words added new authority to old allegations and new insight into how his relationship with the President soured.

Although Trump repeatedly asked Comey to say that he was not personally under investigation and insisted that the FBI should make that public, he seemed much less interested in the fate of others caught up in the probe. “I hope you can let this go”. “Trump said: “‘He is a good guy and has been through a lot. I hope you can let this go, ” the president said, according to Comey. He is a good guy.

Comey’s instincts, he wrote, were that both the setting and the conversation “meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship”.

After Trump abruptly fired Comey last month, his allies have told NBC News the former director is eager to tell his story. According to the document, Comey first volunteered the information during a January 6 meeting at Trump Tower. The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director likely assumed that no president would be insane enough to fire a man whom the public believed to be investigating the president.

“Our country is facing the most risky period in a long time”, said Bob Leventhal, a volunteer for left-wing advocacy group Common Cause. Comey’s justification for this refusal to publicly disclose material facts – that those facts might change – is laughable, especially in light of Comey’s 2016 two-step regarding the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He said that it is his understanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not limited the scope of Comey’s testimony, so lawmakers are also sure to ask Comey about the Russian Federation investigation that he was leading when he was sacked.

Washington Post: 5 things to expect when ex-FBI director James Comey testifies on Russia – “Investigators – led by newly appointed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III – are still working on the Russia case”.

The White House said Monday it would not invoke executive privilege over Comey’s upcoming testimony – officials predicted it would look bad otherwise.

“It is absolutely crucial for the United States, and for that matter for the world, for this presidency, for the Republicans, for the Democrats and for our nation at large, that we get to the bottom of this”, added Mr Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under former president Barack Obama.

But the ex-FBI director also will validate Trump’s assertion that he was not personally a target of the federal counterintelligence investigation into possible campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

Collins says Trump’s actions were “clearly not anywhere close to touching something called ‘obstruction of justice'”.

In their last conversation, on April 11, Comey said the president asked that he “get out” the message that he was not being probed.

Trump has done nothing to endear himself to Comey.

“I can only speak for my personal views, and I think that a majority of the (Democratic) caucus is of the belief that we ought to allow the investigation to continue to its logical conclusion before making any determination”, said Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., the vice chairwoman of the Democratic Caucus.

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Comey said that tax returns can be useful for an investigation.

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