Comey Memo is released

Comey’s memo was released just hours after it was partly declassified and shared to the Congress.

January 7 Memo

In the meeting, James Comey told Trump about the Steele dossier, and that “the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013”. And Trump said “there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes”.

Then Comey said that FBI was “not investigating him and the stuff might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the President from efforts to coerce him”.

Also, in the meeting, Trump said he hoped Comey to stay on.

January 28 Memo

Comey described the conversation as “pleasant at all times”, but “was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion”. Comey “felt comfortable throughout, although never relaxed, given the focus conversation required”.

When discussing the Clinton email investigation, Comey told Trump that then-AG Loretta Lynch directed “me not to use the word ‘investigation’“. Also, Comey noted that Trump “knew the sequence of events extremely well”.

When discussing former-AG Eric Holder and former-AG Loretta Lynch, Comey admitted that Holder and Obama were close, and he considered it “a mistake Presidents make over and over again: Because they reason that problems for a President often come from Justice, they try to bring Justice close, which paradoxically makes things worse because an independent DOJ and FBI are better for a President and the country”.

Also, Trump asked whether McCabe had a problem with Comey, and whether he was “going to be okay”.

Asking for loyalty

He then returned to loyalty, saying “I need loyalty.” I replied that he would always get honesty from me. He paused and said that’s what he wants, “honest loyalty.” I replied “you will get that from me.” (It is possible we understood that phrase differently, but I chose to understand it as consistent with what I had said throughout the conversation: I will serve the President with loyalty to the office, the country, and the truth. I decided it would not be productive to push the subject further.)

Reservations about Flynn

He then went on explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgement and illustrated with a story from that day in which the President apparently discovered during his toast to Teresa May that [redacted] had called four days ago. Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [redacted] had called )first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [redacted] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment or after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [redacted] of a country like [redacted] (“This isn’t [redacted] we are talking about.”) He said that if he called [redacted] and didn’t get a return call for six days he would be very upset. In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said “the guy has serious judgement issues.” I didn’t comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgement of any FBI interest in or contact with General Flynn.

February 8 Memo

During the meeting with then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Comey said he agreed that Trump’s immigration order was valid.

Early in our conversation he brought of the immigration order and asked if I was a lawyer. He asked if I agree that the order appear facially valid. I said I did, as I believed OLC had; the President has broad authority in the area. I added that because immigration was not an FBI issue, I had not followed the court discussion carefully and did not know what considerations there might be beyond the face of the order.

Also, they discussed leaks, Clinton email investigation, and the “Golden Showers thing” during the meeting.

FISA on Flynn

Priebus also asked during the meeting whether or not FBI had a FISA order on Mike Flynn. Comey provided the answer and explained that the normal channel was from DOJ leadership to the WH counsel about such things.

Unfortunately, the answer was redacted.

February 14 Memo

In this meeting, Trump said that Flynn “hadn’t done anything wrong” in his call with the Russians, but he had to let him go because Flynn misled the Vice President. Also, he had other concerns about Flynn. Trump also said “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.”

Also, they talked about leaks, and Trump pushed for more aggressive approach to find the leakers.

March 30 Memo

The phone call between Trump and Comey was mostly about the Russian investigation. Trump said that “if there was ‘some satellite’ that did something, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything and hoped I would find a way to get out that we weren’t investigating him”.

April 11 Memo

During the phone call, Trump said he was following up to see if Comey could find a way to get out that Trump was not under investigation. And Comey replied that he had passed the request to Acting AG Dana Boente, but hadn’t heard back from him.


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