If anyone was worried that former FBI Director James Comey might hold back during his public testimony tomorrow, they can rest easy. Comey has already submitted his lengthy opening statement, and the Senate Intel Committee just posted it. Comey will deliver a stunning takedown of Donald Trump which details the numerous ways in which Trump illegally tried to obstruct the investigation.
James Comey will mention Michael Flynn’s name twelve times during his opening statement tomorrow. That will include Trump asking Comey to let Flynn off the hook in the FBI’s Russia investigation:
The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then 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.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.”
Comey’s documentation of his experiences with Trump is so detailed that he even noted which Oval Office door he entered and exited from; this kind of precise detail helps substantiate the evidentiary validity of his testimony from a legal standpoint. He goes on to explain that he took Trump’s request as a clear attempt at obstruction:
I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign. I could be wrong, but I took him to be focusing on what had just happened with Flynn’s departure and the controversy around his account of his phone calls. Regardless, it was very concerning, given the FBI’s role as an independent investigative agency.
James Comey will also confirm that at one point he asked the Attorney General to tell Donald Trump to stop communicating with him directly in any capacity. You can read Comey’s full prepared statement on the Senate website )link).
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report