La Oferta

March 26, 2023

Comey will say Trump asked him to drop Flynn probe

Washington, Jun 7 (EFE).- Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee that President Donald Trump sought assurances of his loyalty and asked him to drop the investigation into the alleged Russia ties of fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to a document released Wednesday.

The Senate panel published the written statement that Comey plans to make at the start of Thursday’s public hearing, which includes confirmation of comments previously leaked to media outlets.

A file picture dated 01 February 2017 shows National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, speaking during a news briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA. According to media reports on 22 May 2017, Michael Flynn has rejected a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee refusing to hand over documents to them by pleading the fifth amendment. EFE

Comey explains that the account of his interactions with Trump is based on memos drafted immediately after the respective occasions, starting with their first personal meeting, which took place Jan. 6 at Trump Tower in New York.

“I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past,” Comey said.

The second face-to-face encounter between the two men was on Jan. 27, a week after Trump’s inauguration, and took the form of a private dinner at the White House.

“The president began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to. He said that lots of people wanted my job and, given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, he would understand if I wanted to walk away,” Comey said.

“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,” Comey added.

Comey said that he told the president he intended to serve the remaining six years of his 10-year term and that “he could always count on me to tell him the truth.”

“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,” Comey continued.

On Feb. 27, Comey said, Trump asked him to remain behind at the end of a counter-terrorism briefing.
Once the others left the room, Trump told Comey he wanted to discuss Flynn, who resigned the previous day after it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the content of telephone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Comey wrote that before ending the conversation, Trump 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.”