Trump sought to dispel probe

Carla Harmon
June 8, 2017

He is a good guy.

"It's a big no-no not just for presidents of the United States, but for leaders of corporations also", Suri said.

A week before last year's presidential election, Mr Trump was praising Mr Comey for his intervention on the Hillary Clinton email scandal. On Thursday, Comey is expected to tell Congress that, yes, he did tell President Trump he wasn't under investigation - but that Trump also asked him not to pursue investigating Michael Flynn.

Comey will detail a request from Trump for "loyalty" at a private dinner, comments at a meeting in the White House that he hoped that Comey would drop an investigation into former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and a request that he work to "lift the cloud" surrounding the Administration on the Russian Federation investigation. The ousted FBI chief's testimony to be delivered today says he had, indeed, told Trump that he "was not under investigation in any Russian probe". Comey says he did offer the president that "assurance", but resisted Trump's appeals to make that information public.

His statement came as the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted an often testy hearing on Wednesday, in which director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers stonewalled direct questions as to the content of their conversations with the President, saying they could only reveal details in private.

After it had been available for over two hours, many Republican lawmakers who spoke with IJR said they still hadn't read the seven-page testimony, most refusing to comment.

"I was pleased to see that the testimony seems to confirm the president's account of his interactions with Comey", Gaetz said.

"The president feels completely and totally vindicated", Kasowitz said in a statement Wednesday.

But it's clear that unlike Democrats, who view the hearing as a potential political win, every Republican on the Hill wants the hearing over in order to move onto legislative agenda items.

Analyzing Comey's prepared remarks, Lieberman pointed out that Comey's testimony appears to validate Trump's claims that Comey told him multiple times that he was not the subject of an investigation.

While Comey casts the president in a less-than-flattering light, he does shy away from directly accusing the president of obstruction of justice.

It was after this that Comey chose to begin documenting his conversations with the president, despite it not being his practice before.

Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, said it would be hard to show Trump meant to impede the Flynn investigation.

Trump, who spent part of Wednesday in OH talking about the need to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure, ignored reporters' shouted questions about Comey.

The ex-FBI director's testimony recounts his conversations with the apparent precision of a veteran lawman.

At their next meeting, on February 14, Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn, who had just resigned under pressure for lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador. He also said he did not keep written memos of his interactions with Mr Obama.

Comey, in his opening statement, said Trump told him "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" during their first dinner in January.

Ultimately, Comey said of Trump, "I take him at his word", that he was sacked because of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's ongoing Russian Federation investigation. He recalls how the president, following a meeting in the Oval Office, asked those present, including vice president Mike Pence, attorney general Jeff Sessions and his son-in-law Jared Kushner to leave the room, so he could speak to Mr Comey alone.

"He wrote that Trump said: "'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. The president told him "the cloud" of the probe was interfering with his ability to do his job.

For those hoping to take the White House down with Comey as the weapon, this is another case of "close, but no cigar". Comey added that the president asked him whether he wanted to stay on as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, which he thought was odd since Trump had told him in earlier conversations that he wanted Comey to stay.

Trump began the day by announcing his new nominee to lead the FBI - Christopher Wray, a career white-collar crime attorney and former Justice Department official under former president George W. Bush.

That will matter little on Thursday, when Comey will actually deliver his testimony and answer questions live on TV.

"I'm good with it", Comey said.

Other reports by iNewsToday