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Tag: james comey

LA Times: Truth Or Consequence Time for AG Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

On Tuesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee need to pin Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions down about his role in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and other matters that remain murky.

On May 9, Sessions wrote a letter to President Trump urging Comey’s dismissal “based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the deputy attorney general in the attached memorandum.” The memo he referred to by Deputy Atty. Gen Rod Rosenstein faulted Comey for the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Yet Trump later said that “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of [the Justice Department’s] recommendation” and that he had “this Russia thing” on his mind when he made the decision. Did Sessions, who has recused himself from any investigation connected to last year’s election campaigns, know this when he wrote his letter to Trump? Did he assign Rosenstein to write the memo used to justify Comey’s dismissal?

Secret Service Says No Recordings Exist of Trump Conversations with Comey

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

Donald Trump’s suggestion that there were “tapes” of conversations between himself and then-FBI Director James Comey appears to be yet another fabrication of the beleaguered president.

The Secret Service, responding to a Freedom of Information request by the Wall Street Journal, said there are no recordings or transcripts of conversations between Trump and Comey. 

“In response to your request, the Secret Service has conducted a reasonable search for responsive records,” the agency wrote in a statement responding to the FOIA request. “It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices.”

Shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

During Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the former FBI boss responded, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”

Senate Committee to Grill AG Sessions on Involvement of Comey’s Firing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the former Republican senator likely will answer questions behind closed doors.

Sessions is expected to be grilled over comments made by fired FBI Director James Comey, who told the same committee last week that President Trump pressured him to end an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Senators from both sides of the aisle also want to know why Sessions was involved Comey’s termination, especially since the attorney general came under fire for failing to disclose meetings with a Russian ambassador and because he recused himself from the Russian investigation, CBS News reports. 

Sessions was expected to testify about the DOJ budget before the Judiciary Committee, but he switched committees after it became clear that he would be questioned about his role in Comey’s firing.

Senators Call on President Trump to Testify about Russia, Comey’s Firing

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling

Senators from both sides of the aisle are calling on President Trump to testify under oath about the Russia investigation and alleged recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey.

The senators’ request comes after Trump said he was “100%” willing to answer questions about alleged ties to Russia and the recordings that Trump alluded to in a tweet.

“I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with Leader McConnell,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told CBS.

Before Trump testifies, however, Schumer said he first would have to consult with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator Susan Collins backed up Schumer’s calls for the president to testify.

When asked about the recordings last week, Trump responded that h would provide an answer “within a fairly short period of time.”

Other Stories of Interest

Trump’s Legal Team Threatens to Sue James Comey for Leaking Memos

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

Add James Comey to the lengthy list of people Trump has threatened to sue.

The president’s legal team plans to file a complaint against the fired FBI director for leaking memos about his conversations with Trump, two sources familiar with the situation told CNN. The complaints will be filed with the Justice Department’s Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee early next week.

Comey revealed to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he gave his friend a copy of the memos to leak t0 the media in an attempt to inspire the appointment of a special counsel.

The memos detail serious accusations that Trump pressured Comey to end the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

As a presidential candidate, Trump often made threats to sue, but never followed through. The list includes Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican Party of Louisiana, the Washington Post, the New York Times and women who accused him of sexual assault.

Comey: President Trump Directed Me to Stop Investigating Flynn

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Direct0r James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee today that he believed Donald Trump was giving him a “direction” when the president told him that he “hoped you can let” the Flynn investigation go.

Comey was referring to a Feb. 14 meeting in which the president spoke privately and one-on-one with the FBI director in the Oval Office.

The meeting came one day before Flynn, who had lied to lawmakers and the vice president about contacts with a Russian ambassador, resigned under pressure.

According to Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, the president told him that he hoped he could “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Comey interpreted Trump’s statements “as a direction,” which is important for investigators who are trying to determine whether Trump obstructed justice.

Comey declined to say whether he believed the conversation amounted to obstruction of justice and wouldn’t disclose if he feels Trump colluded with Russia. 

Calm and confident, Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was scrutinizing Trump’s actions, which were within “the scope” of the bureau’s investigation. But the fired FBI director emphasized that Trump was not specifically under investigation.

Comey also said he was certain that Russia meddled in the presidential election.

“They did it with purpose and sophistication,” Comey said, adding that the interference came “from the top of the government.”

Russia’s meddling, he said, continues to be a clear threat to American democracy.

“Nobody tells us what to think, what to fight, what to vote for, but other Americans,” Comey said. Russia “tried to shape the way6 we think, we vote and we act. This is a big deal. They are coming after America. They want to undermine our credibility.”


President Trump to James Comey: ‘I Need Loyalty, I Expect Loyalty’

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Allan Lengel

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey’s message to Capitol Hill is becoming clear. Now, the question is: What will be the fallout for the president?
In written remarks submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday ,  a day before he’s scheduled to testify, Comey writes that President Donald  Trump told him at a private White House dinner in January, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’’
Comey said the president called him at lunchtime on Jan. 27 to invite him to dinner.
“It was unclear from the conversation who else was going to be at the dinner, although I assumed there would be others,’’ Comey wrote. “It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.’’
On Wednesday, the release of the remarks became fodder for debate on cable TV news stations on whether President Trump obstructed justice or set himself up for impeachment.

Trump Chooses Christopher A. Wray As Next FBI Director to Replace Comey

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling

President Trump announced this morning on Twitter that he will nominate Christopher A. Wray to be the next director of the FBI.

Wray, a Yale Law School graduate who was working as an attorney in the private sector, previously served as assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Wray also was the attorney for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the bridge scandal. Christie told that he has “the utmost confidence in Chris.”

“I have the utmost confidence in Chris. He’s an outstanding lawyer. He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director,” Christie said Thursday. 

Christie declined to say whether he had a role in Trump’s decision.

Trump interviewed Wray for the job last week.

Among the other candidates for the top FBI job were Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. 

Trump was having trouble finding a new FBI chief, especially after news broke that bureau Director James Comey was pressured by Trump to pledge allegiance to the president and to end the Russia investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey is expected to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here is the Justice Department’s brief history on Wray:

Christopher Asher Wray was born in 1967. He graduated from Yale University in 1989 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. He then clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 1993, Mr. Wray started working in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. In 2001, he served at Main Justice as an Associate Deputy Attorney General and, later, as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.