Comey says Trump told him: 'I need loyalty'

Former FBI Director Comey’s Testimony Publically Released a Day Before Senate Committee Hearing Paul Meekin

Former FBI Director Comey’s Testimony Publically Released a Day Before Senate Committee Hearing Paul Meekin

He is a good guy. Comey replied that he could offer his honesty, and that when Trump said he wanted "honest loyalty", Comey paused and said, "You will get that from me".

Comey wrote in his testimony that he twice told Trump he was not being investigated once before the inauguration and once when he was President and also said that he had told congressional leaders that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not "personally investigating President Trump".

Comey continued: "I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed". They've also questioned why Comey did not raise his concerns about Trump publicly or resign.

Mr Comey added that it was "very concerning" when Mr Trump asked him to back off an investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn.

In his written testimony, Comey described a March 30 phone call where he said that Trump stressed "the cloud" of the Russian Federation 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".

"The President said, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty", Comey will tell the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to prepared testimony released Wednesday".

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The following month, after Comey had publicly revealed the existence of a federal counterintelligence investigation into ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Trump complained that the probe had left a "cloud" that was "impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country".

If Mueller were to issue a finding that Trump did seek to obstruct the FBI investigation, it would ramp up the pressure on the Senate and House to act.

"That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. He asked what we could do to 'lift the cloud.' I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn't find anything, to having our done the work well".

The former director also describes a one-on-one dinner with Trump at the White House a few days after the inauguration. All of the in-person encounters are described in the testimony, as are two of the phone calls, including their final interaction, an April 11 phone call.

Comey will say in his opening statement to a congressional hearing that Trump told him, "I need loyalty". My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.

If you did feel pressured, why didn't you go public earlier? But, he writes, the request was still "very concerning, given the FBI's role as an independent investigative agency".

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The back-to-back hearings come as the White House grapples with the fallout from Comey's firing, which led to the appointment of a special counsel to take over the Russian Federation investigation in an effort to prevent even the appearance of Oval Office interference.

Trump has asserted multiple times that Comey told him repeatedly that he was not under investigation. Trump did not provide specifics about those alleged conversations.

In fact, the FBI director may be questioned extensively on his actions during the 2016 presidential campaign once again, given that the Justice Department has cited Mr Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation as grounds for his dismissal. The president frequently calls the story "fake news" and "made up".

During a phone call on March 30, Comey said he told Trump for a third time he was not personally under investigation.

Michael Rogers, the National Security Agency director, and national intelligence director Dan Coats largely ducked questions from senators on Wednesday about whether the president had tried to influence investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Back in mid-May, the New York Times reported - based on a contemporaneous memo Mr Comey had written - that the president had asked the then-FBI director to go easy on Mr Trump's former aide.

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