Wednesday, a copy of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was released. In the statement, Comey plans to tell the committee that President Trump asked him “to see your way clear to letting this go.” What he wanted Comey to let go was his investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.
In remarks posted on the website of the committee, Comey, recounting his conversation with Trump, said the president went on to say about Flynn, “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Comey replied to Trump that Flynn was in fact a “good guy” and one with whom he had a positive experience as a colleague when he was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. However, Comey said of his response to the president, “I did not say I would ‘let this go.’”
The statement comes in advance of Comey’s testimony Thursday to the committee at his request.
Comey said that he and Trump had several meetings and he took detailed notes of his encounters in declassified memos.
During a March phone conversation, Comey said that Trump stressed “the cloud” of the Russian investigations was “interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated.”
But Comey refused to say that Trump was not under investigation because if that changed and Trump became a subject of the probe, he would have to say so in public.
“I did not tell the president that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change,” Comey said in his statement.
Trump insisted that he needed “loyalty” from him and told Comey, “You will always get honesty from me.” Trump told him, “That’s what I want. Honest loyalty.”
In a related story, Comey said the day after Trump asked him to end his investigation, he confronted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, telling him that he did not want to be left alone with Trump.
Apparently the meeting with Trump had left him gravely disconcerted, although he did not reveal the circumstances of the meeting.
Those details and others will emerge Thursday, and if any or all of these assertions are true, then the administration reeks with obstruction of justice and subsequent impeachment.