Testifying on Thursday before the US Senate Intelligence Committee former director of FBI James Comey revealed that he took notes after the meetings with President during which Mr. Donald Trump communicated his want to stop a part of the investigation regarding the Russia’s interference in the US Presidential elections. Comey, who worked under the administrations of President George W. Bush and Barack Obama explained that he did not have a need to document any of them, but talking to President Trump he decided to write because of “the circumstances, the subject matter, and the person”.
“Circumstances, first, I was alone with the president of the United States, or the president-elect, soon to be president. The subject matter I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility, and that relate to the president, president-elect personally, and then the nature of the person.”
Comey documented nine one-on-one talks with president on the Russia investigation in four months, including three meetings in person.
Former FBI director said that he took unprecedented measures to protect his institution and himself from actions that US President could undertake.
“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way”, Comey stated.
“I need to get that out into the public square”
After being fired on Friday, May 9th of 2017, director of FBI was shocked by a strange message President Trump decided to tweet, which sounded like a concealed threat: “the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes.” On Monday night, May 12th, he was prompted to undertake the unprecedented measures. He decided to act like a whistleblower.
“My judgement was, I need to get that out into the public square.”
Mr. Comey asked his friend, Columbia University law school Professor, to pass “the content of memo” to a journalist. He wanted that a special counsel would be appointed.
Mr. Comey stated in the memo that Mr. Trump told him to stop investigation of his National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn during his meeting in the Oval Office. Although initially Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his son-in-law advisor Jared Kushner were also present, Mr. Trump asked them to leave the Oval Office.
“When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resignedthe previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify”, Mr. Comey described the meeting on February 14th of 2017 in his written statement before the Senate hearings.
After that President turned to FBI director with his request expressed in words: “I hope”.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is good guy. I hope you can let this go.”, Trump said according to the FBI director’s statement.
The Russian government was behind the intrusions in the [Democratic Party – ed.] systems and the subsequent leaks of that information.
On at least two other occasions Trump wanted that FBI Director would stop the investigation on the possible collusion of Trump and Russia at that time calling for “taking this cloud”.
President was concerned that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job”. Comey suggested that the White House should discuss this matter with the Acting Deputy Attorney General.
“He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.””, Mr. Comey stated in writing.
Evidence of criminality with strings to Russia, that is not tied to the 2016
Mr. Comey explained that the FBI opens investigation on the American when bureau has a reason that he or she is targeted for recruitment or is covertly acting as an agent of the foreign power.
Although he made clear to President, that FBI did not open file on him, this knowledge was not sufficient for Mr. Trump. From unexplained reason he continued to behave like he wanted to influence the investigation on Russia. President was not under the investigation of FBI when Mr. Comey left.
“When I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump. But that’s a question that will be answered by the investigation, I think”, Mr. Comey said.
Former FBI director revealed also that the FBI may find “evidence of criminality that is not tied to the 2016 elections, possible collusion, or coordination with Russians”.
I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.
Former FBI director confirmed and also revealed new facts regarding Moscow attempt to influence presidential elections in the United States.
No doubt that the Russian government attempted to interfere with US elections
Mr. Comey said that he has no doubt that “the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the D triple C systems and the subsequent leaks of that information”, and that Kremlin “was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files”.
“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Mr. James Comey said toward the end of more than two hours of testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.
“I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”
FBI and US Senate continues an investigation of the possible collusion of the Trump campaign with Russia.