For those of you who were unable to free up hours of your day to listen to what has been a historic testimony by former FBI Director, James Comey, we’ve decided to highlight just how bad his testimony has been to President Donald Trump. Below are nine direct quotes made by James Comey which we find to be the most damning to Trump and his campaign associates.
“I took it as direction.”
Probably the biggest bombshell from today’s hearing was when Comey was questioned by Sen. James Risch (R-ID) regarding the statements made to him by Trump pertaining to Michael Flynn. Comey said that Trump had stated the following to him during one of the three meetings: “I hope you can 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 went on to say, under oath, that such a statement may not have been a direct order per se, but he saw it that way, saying, “I took it as direction.”
“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”
When asked why he decided to stray from his usual routine following a presidential meeting and instead take detailed notes of his conversation with President Trump, Comey replied, “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.” Comey added that he had met with Barack Obama and George W. Bush in the past and never took such notes of the meetings, and that such records would help defend himself should the President lie.
“Those were lies, plain and simple.”
Comey began his testimony almost immediately attacking the honesty and integrity of the Trump administration. When discussing the fact that President Trump stated that the FBI was in disarray, Comey stated, “The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”
“There’s no doubt that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”
If there was any possibility before the hearing that Trump had fired Comey for reasons unrelated to the Russian investigation, that possibility seems slim now. Comey made it clear that he took the words Trump used during his Lester Holt interview, where he said that Comey was fired because of the Russian Investigation, at face value. One would assume that this would amount to clear obstruction of justice.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
On May 12th, President Trump sent out a tweet suggesting that there may have been tape recordings of the meetings he had with the former FBI Director. When Comey was questioned about the possibility of such tapes, he replied “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
“I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in.”
This statement was made by Comey regarding the conversation he had with the President related to dropping the investigation into Michael Flynn. “Release all the tapes. I’m good with it,” he added.
“I remember thinking, ‘This is a very disturbing development.'”
On February 14, while meeting with the President in the Oval Office, the President instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner to leave the room. At this moment, Comey said he realized that “something big [was] about to happen”. Shortly after is when Trump told Comey he hoped that he could let the Flynn investigation go. This is the conversation in which Comey felt as though Trump’s words were ‘a direction’ rather than simply a statement. Comey went on to tell the Senate Committee, “I remember thinking, ‘This is a very disturbing development'”.
“My common sense told me, ‘what’s going on here, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job.'”
This was also a statement Comey made at the hearing regarding the Flynn conversation. This statement suggests that Comey saw Trump’s actions and comments as a means of trying to get Comey to do as he wished instead of maintaining his independence.
“It’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”
When asked if he thinks Trump Colluded with Russia in any way, Comey’s response was a short, but very telling “It’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”