The James Comey testimony is sensational, there's more to come

Trump repeatedly brought up unsubstantiated claims in a British spy's "dossier" during his conversations with Comey.


The FBI Director said that the content of that call, previously unreported, also saw Trump ask why there had been a public hearing the week before where Comey had confirmed the FBI was looking into potential campaign collusion with the Kremlin. There will be 19 senators grilling Comey on the contents of this statement already out and getting even more sensational soundbites out of Comey on a Thursday that has taken on Monica Lewinsky-esque excitement.

In his statement, Comey recalls several one-on-one conversations he had with Trump over four months - three in person and six over the phone. They've also questioned why Comey did not raise his concerns about Trump publicly or resign.

Now, in this damning public account, Comey will acknowledge what Trump was trying to get him to say all along.

The Senate testimony that's out contains prepared remarks which are the customary opening of any Senate hearing.

'I expect loyalty,' Trump told Comey, according to written testimony
It is unclear whether Comey still has copies of all of them or plans to read from them during his testimony. May 9, 2017: The FBI sends a letter to Congress correcting Comey's testimony.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that she hadn't read it and wasn't sure if the president read it while returning from a day trip to Ohio.

Weeks later, Comey went to the White House for a dinner with the President and other officials. I said that was the way his request should be handled.

Comey's remarks say the president asked him to pledge loyalty and to abandon the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey wrote, "I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump".

Trump also reportedly brought up the Steele dossier during that meeting and suggested that the FBI investigate to prove it didn't occur, an idea rebuffed by Comey.

After the meeting, Comey wrote up details of the meeting in a memorandum - pretty standard procedure for a person in the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's position, experts have noted.

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Those interactions, the former FBI head contended, reportedly included a dinner where Trump pressed him for "loyalty" and a February Oval Office meeting in which the president alluded to dropping an investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

It's possible, under that interpretation, that Trump was reminding Comey of the private dinner they'd shared in the White House on January 27, during which Trump twice told Comey that he needed his "loyalty". He also says he did not keep written memos of his interactions with Obama. Comey said Trump also said "he had nothing to do with Russian Federation, had not been involved with hookers in Russian Federation, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia" - referencing an unverified intelligence dossier detailing compromising information Moscow allegedly had collected on the president.

He says Trump asked him to stay behind in the Oval Office after a meeting with a larger group, and as they stood near a grandfather clock, Trump described Flynn as a good guy who'd been through a lot.

Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee Thursday. "I replied that I had passed his request to the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but I had not heard back", Comey says. According to Comey's statement, the then-FBI director initially looked at Trump without saying anything; as he describes it, "I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed".

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Comey's claims about being pressured by Trump could become a focus of the probe by Robert S. Mueller, the former FBI director appointed to serve as a special counsel overseeing the investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

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