Former FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that then-Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch urged him to refer to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails a “matter” instead of an “investigation.”
Comey said in his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he was confused by the request and that it was one of the reasons he felt the need to publicly announce his findings in the Clinton email case.
Comey said the other major factor was Lynch's meeting with former President Clinton on the tarmac of an Arizona airport. Comey said he had to announce his findings to protect the credibility of the FBI and the Justice Department.
In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey recalled his state of mind as a White House meeting ended and President Trump ordered everyone but Comey to clear the room.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law were reluctant to go, he said.
“My impression was something big was about to happen. I need to remember every single word that was spoken,” he said. “My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn’t be leaving, that is why he was lingering. And I don’t know Mr. Kushner well, but I sense he was picking up on the same thing.”
Jun. 8, 2017, 7:59 a.m.
Lordy, I hope there are tapes.
Comey, on Trump's tweet about potential recordings of their conversation
Former FBI Director James Comey said he felt a need to meticulously document every interaction with President Trump – something he did not do with other presidents – because he feared Trump would lie about their conversations.
Speaking of the “nature” of Trump, he said meeting with him created concerns Comey did not have with Presidents Obama or George W. Bush.
“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” Comey said. “It led me to believe I've got to write it down….I knew there might come a day when I would need a record of what would happen, not just to defend myself but to defend the FBI.”
Former FBI Director James B. Comey never had an opportunity to say goodbye to his colleagues.
That changed on Thursday at the outset of his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“I am so sorry that I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to you properly,” he said. “It was the honor of my life to serve beside you, to be part of the FBI family and I will miss it for the rest of my life. Thank you for standing watch. Thank you for doing so much good for this country.”
Former FBI Director James Comey launched into his testimony with a combative tone, accusing the administration of lying about its reasons for firing him and damaging the agency in the process.
Comey’s remarks were even more aggressively critical and accusatory of the White House than his written testimony, which already charged the president repeatedly and inappropriately pressured Comey to back off in the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn.
“The shifting explanations confused me and concerned me,” he said about President Trump’s comments following Comey’s firing. “Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration chose to defame me and the FBI.”
In his opening statement, former FBI Director James Comey said he won't repeat what he already said in the written statement released yesterday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. In case you missed it, here's a copy: