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James Comey Says He Released The Trump Memos For A Reason - Here's Why

During his congressional testimony Thursday morning, former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that he publicly released notes from his meetings with President Trump.

According to Newsmax, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he wanted to encourage the Justice Department to investigate the Trump-Russia scandal. The former bureau chief, who Trump fired last month, said that after he left the FBI he asked Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman to give the memos to a news reporter.

“I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons,” Comey explained. “But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” The day after the ex-director turned over the notes, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named another former FBI head, Robert Mueller, as a special counsel. He is overseeing multiple federal probes, including inquiries by several legislative committees, regarding allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Comey said that in a one-on-one conversation at the White House just one day following former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s forced resignation in February, the president asked him about the FBI’s investigation of the official. According to Comey, Trump said: “I hope you can see clear to let this go.”

Axios reported that Comey stopped short of accusing Trump of obstructing justice. “I took it as a direction. … I took it as what he wants me to do,” he said. “My common sense told me that he’s looking to get something in exchange for my request to stay in the job. I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting and I thought it important to document.” Comey described the experience as “a very disturbing thing; very concerning.” He noted that Mueller must determine whether the president attempted to obstruct justice or committed other impeachable crimes.

Flynn stepped down due to reports that he had “misled” Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Flynn allegedly promised the envoy in December that Trump would lift sanctions that former President Obama imposed on Russia in retaliation for meddling with the election. Flynn also reportedly received payments from the Russian and Turkish governments without registering as a foreign agent.

Regarding his sudden dismissal in the middle of a 10-year term at the FBI, Comey recalled: “The explanations, the shifting explanations, confused me — and increasingly concerned me. It confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russia investigation. The administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI.”

Comey said he avoided including classified government information in his memos so the notes would be “easier to discuss.” When asked about Trump’s threat that there may be “tapes” of the two men’s discussions, Comey remarked: “I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. The president surely knows if he taped me. If he did, my feelings won’t be hurt. Release all the tapes. I’m good with it.”

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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