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Comey to Testify Trump Pressured Him to Shut Down Flynn Investigation

”I hope you can let this go,“ Comey quotes president as saying

Fired FBI Director James Comey is expected to tell senators Thursday that President Trump pressured him to shut down the bureau’s investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, according to a copy of his statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee released Wednesday.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Comey cited Trump as saying. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

The transcript was made available on the Senate intelligence committee’s website a day ahead of the hearing.

Comey wrote that he “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.”

Comey went on to say that the FBI leadership team agreed “that it was important not to infect the investigative team with the President’s request, which we did not intend to abide.”

The written statement, which Comey is expected to deliver Thursday morning, also includes information about the now infamous Russia dossier, written by an MI6 intelligence officer last year, which claimed the Kremlin had highly compromising material on the president.

Comey specifically addressed the unconfirmed accusation that Trump once hired Russian prostitutes to perform a “golden shower” routine during a 2013 visit to Moscow.

“He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia,” Comey wrote.

The comments were apparently made during a March 30 phone call between the president and the then-FBI director. The classified documents, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, were presented to President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Trump. While the documents have not been verified in their totality, many of Steele’s findings have panned out.

The material was so sensitive, according to Comey, that he decided to do the briefing alone, as to avoid embarrassing the president.

Comey also confirmed earlier media reports that the president had in fact demanded his loyalty.

“The President began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI Director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay,” Comey wrote. “A few moments later, the President said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,'” Comey goes on to say.

Comey will also testify that he told Trump on January 6 that he was not under investigation at the time.

“That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey wrote. “During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President- Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.”

During his final interaction with Trump on April 11,  Comey claims that the president pressed him to lift “the cloud” that was “getting in the way of his ability to do the job.”

After Comey says he told Trump to go through the appropriate channels at the Department of Justice, to which Trump replied: “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.”

Read Comey’s full statement here.

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