Comey Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Preet Bharara

Comey to testify Trump told him: 'I expect loyalty'

Trump triggered a political firestorm when he dismissed Comey.

Comey, who was sacked from his post in mid-May, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that he asked a friend to share with a reporter his account of an Oval Office meeting with Trump after the president appeared to warn the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director against taking his story to the press.

"Those were lies, plain and simple", Comey told the committee. Comey, who has served in senior law enforcement positions under three presidents, said it was unusual for him to be discussing the ongoing investigations alone with Trump.

According to his prepared testimony, Comey kept detailed records of his conversations with Trump, and in one memo recalled the president saying, of the investigation into Flynn: "He is a good guy".

"After he had spoken for a few minutes about leaks, [chief of staff] Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him", Comey wrote.

"The nature of Trump ..."

He said that he felt that releasing the details of his private conversations with the president might prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the case. "I created records after each of our nine conversations-if not, I did it for almost all".

Mr Comey said it was a matter of circumstances, the subject matter and the "person I was interacting with".

Comey on the Republicans: "They'll be back.they're not devoted to either party, they're just working to their own advantage and they will be back".

The account ends with an April 11 phone call, in which Comey claims President Trump said "the cloud" of the Russian Federation investigation was getting in the way of his ability to do his job, and asked what Comey had done "about his request that [Comey] "get out" that he is not personally under investigation". "Lordy, I hope there are tapes". And later, he added, he would like them to be released.

Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. fired off a series of tweets attacking Comey but the president himself stayed off social media while the drama played out in Congress.

Last month Donald Trump sensationally fired the FBI director who was leading an investigation into Russia's meddling in the election and possible links with the Trump campaign.

"The president feels completely and totally vindicated".

In his opening statement, Comey will testify that Trump did ask him for a "loyalty" pledge and later asked him to scuttle the agency's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump turned it into a job interview pressing him for his "loyalty".

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