Trump goes on offensive against ex-FBI chief, calling him a 'leaker'

  • Trump goes on offensive against ex-FBI chief, calling him a 'leaker'

Trump goes on offensive against ex-FBI chief, calling him a 'leaker'

Comey knew exactly what the president meant. They will answer his questions about what Trump told them; whether they were sufficiently anxious to discuss Trump's interventions with each other; whether they were so alarmed they kept contemporaneous notes of conversations with Trump; and whether they received pressure or guidance from anyone on the Trump staff to influence their testimony to the Senate.

Comey responded by providing memos of his meetings with Trump to a friend at Columbia Law School. And while Comey's firing did trigger knee-jerk charges of obstruction of justice, and his wish for the appointment of an independent counsel, there are four reasons why the Trump-Comey episode does not meet the legal elements of obstruction of justice.

If Trump can let the hearing settle, compartmentalize the whole matter and let the independent counsel do his work, the Russian Federation investigation and all its subsidiaries will conclude without evidence of a crime. In his first congressional appearance since being abruptly fired by Trump last month, Comey detailed months of distrust of the president and bluntly asserted that Trump had fired him to interfere with the probe of Russia's ties to the Trump campaign. According to USA Today, an official statement issued by Donald Trump's lawyer attempted to turn the tables on Comey, suggesting he was in the wrong for "unauthorized disclosures" of private conversations he had with Trump.

That Trump has a checkered reputation is hardly up for debate, but for the widely respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director to declare it under oath made for high drama.

But he said that he was "stunned by the conversation".

"Those were lies, plain and simple". James Risch asked whether he was aware of anyone ever being charged with obstruction of justice for saying they hoped for something, like Trump supposedly hoped he would lay off Flynn? Comey's words - and, at times, his lack of words - may indicate trouble for people other than the president.

Those who put their money where their mouth is believe that it is increasingly likely that Trump will either be impeached or resign.

"I can definitively say the president is not a liar, and I think it's frankly insulting that question would be asked", spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Kasowitz attacked Comey after his testimony for leaking what he called "privileged communications" to the media. Trump's son, Donald Jr., took to Twitter to criticize Comey.

While Comey demurred on questions about whether he believes the president committed obstruction of justice, deferring to Mueller's investigation, he did say, in perhaps the most explosive moment of the testimony, that he believed the president was asking him to call off the Flynn probe.

Sessions said he had not disclosed the meetings because they were in his capacity as senator, not Trump campaign surrogate.

Mr Comey told USA lawmakers at a hearing before a Senate panel that he was confused by "the shifting explanations" given by the Trump administration for his firing on May 9.

In 2008, the federal appeals court in St. Louis upheld a longer prison term after a judge determined that a defendant had obstructed justice when he told someone "I hope and pray to God you did not say anything about a weapon".

To his understanding, Mr Comey added, Mr Trump had not asked him to stop the investigation into Russian election-meddling. Tom Cotton, Comey also said that much of a February 14 story in the Times about Trump campaign aides repeatedly being in contact with Russian intelligence agents was incorrect.

"The most damning thing was when Jim Comey suggested a quid pro quo", Napolitano said at one point.

"But that is a conclusion I am sure the special counsel will work towards to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that is an offence". The presidential request was alarming enough, Mr Comey went on, that he kept it from the FBI agents investigating the Flynn case, for fear it would have a "chilling effect" on their work.