Lordy, I Hope There Are Tapes': Highlights Of James Comey's Testimony

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

Sacked FBI director James Comey provided a cinematic opening to what promised to be blockbuster testimony.

Comey continued even more strongly: "And although the law required no reason at all to fire an Federal Bureau of Investigation director, the administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led". "Those were lies, plan and simple", Comey said, adding that Trump "chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI" in those remarks.

In highly anticipated testimony, Comey offered his first public account of his dismissal last month and said there was "no doubt" that he had been fired "to change the nature of the Russian Federation investigation", referring to the FBI's sprawling probe of Kremlin-backed meddling in the 2016 election.

"Asking others to leave the room could suggest the president was aware that there was something wrong with what he was doing", Wright said. Comey also said he thought Trump fired him last month because he was unhappy with how he was conducting the Russian Federation probe.

Afterward, Rubio told reporters that Trump's interactions with Comey were likely not appropriate.

Comey gave short, deliberative answers to the senators, while painting a picture of an overbearing president who he did not trust and who pressured him to stop the FBI Flynn probe. "The ongoing investigations by the Special Counsel, the House, and Senate will continue", Mitchell said in a statement.

Comey continued, saying that he was shocked the president would ask him to "let things go" and was never sure of how to respond.

But on the political front, Republicans circled back to the idea that this portrait painted by Comey was not good for Trump - yet it was also not a high crime or misdemeanor. Cutting Flynn out of the picture could potentially have a significant effect on how the investigation proceeds. Jim Risch of Idaho questioned whether the word, "hope" made the president's comments seem more like speculation than an outright command, the conversation turned to British history and something Henry II once allegedly said about Archbishop of Canterbuy Thomas Beckett more than nine centuries ago, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" "I hear 'I hope nothing happens but you have to do your job, '" he tweeted.

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So is this where Team Trump is headed next, a counteroffensive against Comey and his allies that seeks to undermine their credibility by making them out to be agents of the ancien régime? There is no defending Trump's treatment of Comey. "It's not about Republicans or Democrats", Comey said. And indeed it did.

After Comey's testimony, Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz said Comey "admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President". On Thursday, Comey refused to say in an open hearing whether he believed Trump colluded with that effort.

In fact, Comey's timeline appears to be correct.

One of Trump Jr.'s biggest gripes was when Comey leaked his own private memos to the press.

Comey faced little real hostility from the senators, and the hearing's pace slowed under repetitive questioning. The Times ran a story about the memo contents later that day. Indeed, Mr. Comey was cautious not to reveal much about what investigators are uncovering and instead reviewed what he had already offered in written testimony - much of it about whether the president sought to affect the investigation and perhaps even obstruct justice, a potentially impeachable offense.

Democrats are intent on determining whether Trump's actions amounted to obstruction of justice, while Republicans have zeroed in on Comey's admission he assured the president he was not personally an FBI investigation target.

When Americans look at the investigation, what they see is "a lot of acrimony", says Sen. He is a highly respected public servant, and it was his testimony to Congress in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign that added new doubts to Hillary Clinton's truthfulness about her private email server and correspondence on it.

Other reports by GizPress

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