Former FBI Director James Comey will testify Thursday that he understood President Donald Trump to be asking him to "drop" the probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn when they spoke in February, according to a detailed opening statement posted by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"[Trump] then said, 'I hope you can see your way clear to
Comey will say that he interpreted the president's comment as a request that the FBI "drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December." Comey will testify, "I did not say I would 'let this go.'"
However, the former FBI chief "did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign."
Comey's testimony, based largely on written records he made after one-on-one conversations with Trump from January to April, casts light on Trump's behavior with the former FBI director and the president's possible motives for firing Comey. Trump abruptly ousted Comey last month amid an FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Trump's outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz, said in a statement that the president feels "completely and totally vindicated" and "is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda." And Kasowitz highlighted that Comey says he told Trump that the president was not personally under investigation.