Former FBI Director James Comey “most definitely” wants to testify before Congress — and wrote other memos in addition to the one claiming President Trump asked him to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a source familiar with Comey’s thinking told CBS News.
Five days before we learned that ousted FBI Director James Comey had written a memo saying President Trump asked him to stop the investigation into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the former top Justice Department spokesman tweeted this:
“One thing I learned at DOJ about Comey: he leaves a protective paper trail whenever he deems something inappropriate happened. Stay tuned.”
Today, Miller told the Washington Post: “We have no idea who made the decision to leak this, whether it was Comey himself or it was people at the FBI. And we don’t know what their complete strategic goals are. But if you were really looking to damage the president, you wouldn’t leak the most damaging memo first. So who knows what comes next?”
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Former FBI Director James Comey “will not be appearing before the Senate Intelligence committee next week, despite an invitation to speak with the committee behind closed doors,” Axios reports.
“That’s after a day of intrigue following President Trump taunting Comey over the prospect of ‘tapes’ from their conversations before the firing.”
A source close to James Comey tells CNN the former FBI Director is “not worried about any tapes” of conversations between him and President Trump, adding that “if there is a tape, there’s nothing he is worried about” that could be on it.
“Friday morning, Trump issued a thinly veiled threat to Comey, apparently suggesting there are possibly recorded conversations between the two men that could be leaked to counter the former FBI director if necessary.”
A source close to James Comey tells CNN that the former FBI Director was “taken aback” by President Trump’s request for a personal assurance or pledge of loyalty at a dinner shortly after he took office.
“Comey refused to do so, saying he could not provide such a pledge — those who work at the FBI pledge their loyalty to the US Constitution, not to any individual person — but he promised to always be honest with the President.”
One new detail: “The late January dinner was arranged at Trump’s request.”
The New York Times reports on a private dinner President Trump had with FBI Director James Comey just seven days into the new administration.
“As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.”
“Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not ‘reliable’ in the conventional political sense.”
President Trump told NBC News that he had planned to fire FBI Director James Comey regardless of the recommendation from his deputy attorney general, contrary to earlier statements from the White House.
He said he had made up his mind to dismiss Comey before he met Monday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump also claimed Comey told him three times, once over dinner and twice on phone calls, that he was not under investigation.
“In firing FBI Director James Comey, President Trump may have hoped to bring the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election under control. Instead, as reaction in Washington spread on Wednesday, the move seemed to carry a large risk of making his troubles worse,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“In an email lament circulated among prominent Republicans, A.B. Culvahouse Jr., former Reagan White House counsel and head of Trump’s vice presidential search effort, said the firing ‘both prolongs the FBI/DOJ investigation and undermines the credibility of the Trump campaign’s denials of no conspiracy with Putin.'”
He added: “We could be talking about Russian hacking in the mid-terms at this rate.”
Washington Post: “Within the Justice Department and the FBI, the firing of Comey has left raw anger, and some fear … Trump had ‘essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI’ one official said. ‘I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind.'”
“The anger behind Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday had been building for months, but a turning point came when Comey refused to preview for top Trump aides his planned testimony to a Senate panel,” Reuters reports.
“Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had wanted a heads-up from Comey about what he would say at a May 3 hearing… When Comey refused, Trump and his aides considered that an act of insubordination and it was one of the catalysts to Trump’s decision this week to fire the FBI director.”
“Ousted FBI Director James Comey has been invited to testify in a closed session next Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” Politico reports.
“The session would provide a first chance for Comey to weigh in on the circumstances of his firing and update senators behind closed doors on the status of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
“Before President Trump was even sworn into office, congressional Republicans made a pledge: They would be a check on executive power, they said, often making the independence of the legislative branch a centerpiece of their own election campaigns last year,” the New York Times reports.
“But on Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the majority leader, sought to give the beleaguered administration significant cover, strongly defending the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, and resisting calls to challenge Mr. Trump and support a broader inquiry of Russian interference in the election.”
Politico: “After a flurry of GOP statements Tuesday night criticizing Trump for axing Comey so suddenly, there were no new Republican calls on Wednesday for a special prosecutor or select committee to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections or possible collusion with the Trump campaign.”