Former FBI Director James Comey isn’t set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee until tomorrow. But he’s already submitted his opening statement, which the committee has posted on the senate.gov website. Comey’s statement seven full pages long, and goes into great detail about his interactions with Donald Trump. Much of it is incredibly damaging to Trump.
Comey will testify that Trump did indeed demand “loyalty” from him during a January 27th dinner. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.
Comey will also confirm that he wrote memos of his conversations with Trump in real-time, starting all the way back on January 6th:
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.
And then there’s excerpt, in which Comey spells out the extent to which Trump was trying to obstruct the investigation during a March 30th phone call:
He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated.
The words “obstruction of justice” do not appear anywhere in James Comey’s submitted opening statement, which you can read in full on the U.S. Senate website (link). Instead, Comey has chosen to spell out the details of the numerous instances in which Trump tried to obstruct the investigation. This will allow Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee to put the word “obstruction” in Comey’s mouth without having to speak it. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report