Former FBI Director James Comey in his testimony before the Senate committee said that President Donald Trump never asked him to close the investigation into Russian collusion with the election.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, asked Comey, “Did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections?”
Comey response was: “Not to my understanding, no.”
“Did any individual working for [the Trump] administration, including the Justice Department, ask you to stop the Russian investigation?” Burr asked him.
Comey said: “No.”
Burr asked Comey if he thought Trump was trying to obstruct justice by asking the him to “let” former national security adviser Michael Flynn “go.” And also, he asked if Flynn was in any legal jeopardy for his unreported contacts with the Russian ambassador.
“General Flynn, at that point in time, was in legal jeopardy,” Comey said. “There was an open FBI criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the Russian contacts, and the contacts themselves.”
“I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct,” Comey continued. “I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense.”
Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho asked Comey if Trump’s words “I hope you can let this go” in concerning Flynn were enough to provide obstruction of justice.
“He said, ‘I hope,’” Risch said to Comey.
“Those were his exact words, correct,” Comey confirmed.
“You don’t know of anyone that’s ever been charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?” Risch asked.
“I don’t as I sit here,” Comey replayed.
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