The day before Former FBI Chief James Comey was scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill, he shocked America by pre-releasing a transcript of his opening statement—and boy is it a doozy.
According to CNN, the six pages go into depth about nine meetings Comey had with President Trump this year where he accuses #45 of demanding his loyalty, pressing him to drop a probe into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and repeatedly pressuring him to publicly declare that he was not under investigation.
When describing an awkward private dinner the two had on Jan. 27, Comey wrote:
My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch. …
I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten-year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the President.
A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.
In another section, he went into detail about the president asking him to drop the investigation against Flynn:
The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”
Soon after that particular conversation, Comey said he wrote an unclassified memo and shared it with other senior members of the FBI:
I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign. I could be wrong, but I took him to be focusing on what had just happened with Flynn’s departure and the controversy around his account of his phone calls. Regardless, it was very concerning, given the FBI’s role as an independent investigative agency.
He also confirmed that he once asked DOJ head Jeff Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with the president again and said that on three different occasions he told that Trump was not being investigated by the FBI
(Read the transcript in its entirety here)
Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said that this transcript “vindicates” his client.
“Mr. Trump is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russia probe. He feels completely and totally vindicated and he is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda.”
“No. No. No. next question.”
This bombshell has only heightened “obstruction of justice” and impeachment talks and definitely had Black Twitter buzzing:
As we previously reported Comey was fired last month by Trump for his performance with the Russia probe and his mishandling of his dealings with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
We’re going to be like this tomorrow morning watching Comey’s testimony: