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Principale » Former FBI chief's hearing latest in major distractions for Trump

Former FBI chief's hearing latest in major distractions for Trump

13 Juin 2017

Comey's testimony, as the intelligence committee considers allegations of Russian interference in last year's presidential election, described Trump as someone who put loyalty to him above loyalty to the Constitution.

Former FBI director James B. Comey's testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee was a rare opportunity to compare how different news networks cover the same event.

Citing unnamed sources, CNN reported Friday Kasowitz plans to file a complaint with the Senate Judiciary Committee over Comey's leaked memo.

According to Comey, Trump attempted during his first weeks in office to recruit the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief as an ally.

Trump took to social media the day after Comey said the president fired him to undermine the FBI's investigation into Trump's apparent ties with Russian Federation.

Comey told the Senate panel that he was so concerned by his conversations with Trump that he immediately documented their encounters - which included a White House dinner, private meetings, and several phone calls - in a series of memorandums. But Comey said a lot. His rationale was that his role as a high-profile surrogate and advisor for the Trump campaign made it inappropriate for him to be involved in an investigation of that same campaign, a rationale which received little pushback, except reportedly from the president himself.

Stating that Trump had never tried to pressure Comey into ending the probe into Flynn's behavior, Kasowitz added, "The president also never told Mr. Comey, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" in form or substance".

Cosby defense gives closing argument in sex assault case
Bill Cosby walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Friday, June 9, 2017. Last week, accuser Andrea Constand testified that Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004 at his gated estate near Philadelphia.

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump tweeted, "and WOW, Comey is a leaker!"

And companies that do business with the government might find it risky to bring aboard someone who's so publicly at odds with the current administration. Howard Baker of Tennessee asked, "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

President Trump wraps up his speech to a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. It was left to his spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to refute Comey's dramatic claim that Trump lied about his reasons for firing Comey. Talk about meddling: Comey was especially unnerved in the February 14 meeting when Trump cleared the room to be alone with Comey. It is, after all, hard to believe the president insisted everyone leave the room just so he could tell the FBI Director that "General Flynn is a good guy". Trump did not answer directly, saying only, "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime soon". "I can definitively say the president is not a liar", she said.

I thought it was bad enough that the letter made it clear that Trump would probably be under investigation, and made more than one reference to the president's penchant for "hookers" (Comey's words not mine), but the in-person testimony was more damning. Comey and Mueller are friends, he notes, which potentially presents a conflict of interest. Comey has confirmed that Trump was not personally under investigation at any point before his dismissal from the FBI. Comey said his senior aides were divided on whether to provide that assurance to Trump. Comey's testimony about the circumstances and details of that meeting, in that he took Trump's words to be "a direction - to get rid of this investigation", and that acceding to it would mean terminating the investigation, set forth evidence satisfying the elements for obstruction of justice (a prima facie case).

News of undisclosed meetings and communications between Trump aides and Russian officials have dogged the early months of the administration and have undermined the White House's policy agenda.

If that's not enough to make your stomach turn, Comey also admitted that he kept highly detailed memos of private - if not privileged - conversations with the president and then leaked them.

REPORTER: So if [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller wanted to speak with you about that, you would be willing to talk to him?