All the Questions Comey Wouldn't Answer

Cheryl Sanders
June 9, 2017

There is no defending Trump's treatment of Comey.

He said it wouldn't be appropriate for him to offer his own legal analysis but added, of one exchange with Trump: "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offence".

The investigation has focused on possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump campaign aides and the dissemination of fake news articles hostile to Hillary Clinton and of emails stolen from the accounts of Democratic Party workers during the presidential campaign. But he also testified that another member of the FBI's leadership team believed that Trump's conduct "will fall within the scope" of the Russian Federation investigation and was therefore "reluctant" to assure the president that he was not personally under investigation.

Still, there's no doubt the veteran lawman made for a challenging adversary.

"It's my judgment that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", Comey said toward the end of more than two hours of testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.

Comey: I don't think I can talk about that opening setting.

Comey's testimony damaged the president's credibility. Comey provided enough political ammunition for each side to spin the hearing into a political victory, but the overall takeaway is that Democrats, Republicans, and Comey himself have plenty to be embarrassed about.

Republicans mindful of the gravity of the moment worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing.

They tried to undermine Mr Comey's credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance when the Federal Bureau of Investigation had to clean up the director's evidence to Congress.

"I would say the most significant thing was there wasn't a significant thing", said Stewart, who has heard from Comey four or five times in closed and open House Intelligence Committee hearings.

Comey was also asked if he believed he was sacked because of the bureau's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election as well as Russia's ties with Trump's campaign. He said he took notes of his conversations with the chief executive because he feared that Trump would lie about them, and accused the White House of spreading lies about why he was ousted.

On Thursday, Comey said that after he was sacked, he instructed a close friend to describe to a New York Times reporter the memo he wrote documenting Trump's attempt to convince the FBI to drop its investigation of Flynn.

"This is all part of the deep state", Lewandowski said. "If the election were on October 27, I would be your president", Clinton said last month.

Comey responded by providing memos of his meetings with Trump to a friend at Columbia Law School.

COMEY: "And then he said, how about 6:30?" Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently revealed he "could not and would not" publicly refute the dossier despite having been asked to do so by President Trump.

"I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document", Comey said. They said Trump's intent to interfere with the investigation could be inferred from his conduct, such as telling advisors like Jared Kushner and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Comey's direct boss, to leave the room before the conversation with Comey. On Thursday, Comey provided additional information about the scope of that inquiry and whether it will target the president.

He said that's why it's all the more shocking that Comey admitted he deliberately leaked a memo from a key meeting with Trump to a friend after he was sacked, in order to prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the Trump campaign-Russia probe.

Comey replied with a quotation attributed to King Henry II of England, who was at odds with Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury.

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