Comey says he was fired over Russia probe, blasts 'lies'

But, Mr Comey testified, Mr Trump did NOT ask him to drop the FBI's broader investigation into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election and whether Mr Trump's campaign helped.

Comey's one-on-one dinner with Trump on January 27, in which the president asked for his loyalty, occurred just after the White House was briefed on the investigation of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

Questions abounded, mostly from the Republican wing of the Intelligence Committee, about why Comey didn't confront Trump about his concerning behavior. Specifically, he was asked why he took it upon himself to write memos of every visit and call he made with President Trump.

And then there's Comey's stunning revelation that his former boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch - an Obama appointee - directed him to downplay the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. But he said Trump's request to terminate the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn left him "stunned", and senior FBI officials considered it to be of "investigative interest".

"I can definitively say the president is not a liar", said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

First, Mr Comey found out he was sacked by watching TV. "The president feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda".

"I was sacked in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russian Federation investigation was being conducted", Comey said.

"Today", Burr told Comey, "is your opportunity to set the record straight". However, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said that while Trump's dealings with Comey were inappropriate, "We do not indict people for being boorish or clueless".

The ex-FBI director's testimony recounts his conversations with the apparent precision of a veteran lawman.

Comey testified Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

He also labeled Comey a leaker, accusing him of "unauthorized disclosures" of "privileged communications" he'd had with the president.

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James Comey's testimony may have been great political theater, but it's far from clear whether there's enough ammo from it to nail the president on obstruction-of-justice charges, experts told The Post on Thursday.

But Comey later said he took the president's assertion as akin to a command.

Legal analysts have said previously that there was reason to believe Trump might have obstructed justice - both in asking him to shut down the probe into Flynn and then, later, in firing Comey.

Rejecting key parts of Comey's damning testimony while claiming others as a win for the president, Kasowitz also suggested Comey may face prosecution. He's the president of the United States, with me alone, saying 'I hope this.'.

Asked whether that February Oval Office discussion amounted to obstruction of justice, Comey said he expected that to be a matter for Mueller, the former FBI director who has taken over the Justice Department's investigation.

In almost three hours of dramatic testimony, Comey said he believed that the president directed him to abandon the probe of Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, and "lift the cloud" of the broader investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials by publicly clearing Trump's name.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's decision to orchestrate a leak as a means of putting pressure on Trump's Department of Justice has been seized upon by conservative media, earning top billing at Breitbart, Newsmax, and the Drudge Report.

Republicans have already seized on one section of Comey's testimony as vindication.

Comey responded, "That's a good question".

But at least one committee source said they were confident, after listening to Comey's testimony, that they would find a way to get Comey's memos and work side-by-side with Mueller's probe. I support the ongoing investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that is looking into the Trump Administration's ties to Russian Federation.

"He said, how about 6:30?"

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