The Senate Intelligence Committee released Comey’s opening statement on Wednesday afternoon. Here are the top takeaways.
Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, but the committee released Comey’s opening statement Wednesday afternoon.
Here are the points you need to know.
Comey Confirms that Trump Was Not Under Investigation: In his letter firing the former FBI Director, President Trump thanked Comey for assuring him “on three separate occasions” that he was not under investigation. Comey does, in fact, personally confirm to the president that he was not a subject of the counter-intelligence investigation. Comey writes in his testimony that on January 6, January 27, and March 30, he informed Trump that he was not a subject of investigations. Additionally, Comey told congressional leaders that Trump was not a subject of the investigations. The testimony reveals that Comey would not publicly confirm that Trump was not under investigation due to the creation of “a duty to correct” if the FBI investigation did expand to Trump himself.
Trump Asked Comey to Drop the Flynn Investigation: According to Comey’s testimony, Trump discussed the Flynn investigation with the then-FBI director during a February 14 one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office. Trump allegedly told Comey during the course of the discussion, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey agreed that Flynn “is a good guy,” but would not let the investigation go. The former FBI director took this to mean the investigation surrounding Flynn’s false claims about his meeting with the Russian ambassador, and not the Russia probe as a whole.
Trump Demanded Loyalty from Comey: Comey wrote of his January 27 dinner with Trump: “The President said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.” Comey eventually promised “honest loyalty” to the president, which he accepted.
Trump Wanted the Investigation into “Satellite” Associates of His to Continue: In a phone call on March 30, the president told Comey that “if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.” However, Trump continuously worried about the developing public narrative that the investigation reached into the Oval Office, and requested that Comey publicly lay that narrative to rest.
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