"I was sacked in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russian Federation investigation was being conducted", Comey testified under oath. But he also testified that another member of the FBI's leadership team believed that Trump's conduct "will fall within the scope" of the Russian Federation investigation and was therefore "reluctant" to assure the president that he was not personally under investigation.
Former FBI director James B. Comey declined to detail the FBI's investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8 at the Capitol. Him saying, "Hey, I hope that they can go away".
Up till Thursday, it was easy for Republicans and Democrats to take aim at Comey - and rightfully so.
Democrats, including Connecticut's congressional delegation, said Comey's written testimony showed that the president had acted improperly and raised questions about Trump's firing of Comey.
We know this not merely from the text but because Comey actually did not interpret anything said as obstruction of justice. James Risch, R-Idaho.
Firing Comey with the intent of derailing an investigation Trump has constantly called a hoax could also be construed as an obstruction of justice. Comey added, "I thought it might prompt the appointment of a special counsel".
United Kingdom votes for hung parliament; Brexit uncertainties ahead
Much will depend on the wishes of the Democratic Unionist Party MPs from Northern Ireland, who would be her most likely allies. In one of many striking moments, the party lost the seat of Canterbury for the first time in a century.
In one of the unexpected moments of the day, Comey essentially took credit for Mueller being on the case. "I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it", Comey said. Known as a teller of memorable tales, he has just ensured this one is far from over.
Comey told senators he was driven to share the contents of his memos with the press through an intermediary after Trump tweeted ominously on May 12 about the possibility of taped recordings of his conversations with Comey. He said he took notes of his conversations with the chief executive because he feared that Trump would lie about them, and accused the White House of spreading lies about why he was ousted.
One of the "overlooked" details from Thursday, Rather said, is that "Attorney General Sessions is now a marked man" because Comey revealed yet another undisclosed meeting between Sessions and Russian ambassador to the US and purported spymaster Sergey Kislyak. Sessions failed to disclose those contacts during questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing, when he told senators he hadn't had any contacts with Russian Federation. New York Times reporters corroborated Comey's timeline on Thursday after Kasowitz's statement.
The Justice Department put out a statement late Thursday saying that Sessions had recused himself because of his involvement in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign - "for that reason, and that reason alone".
It wasn't just the Trump administration that made Comey anxious about the need to protect the integrity and independence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Comey also revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had instructed him to refer to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as a "matter" rather than an "investigation".
"I don't know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate", he said.
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