KEY MOMENTS FROM COMEY TESTIMONY: “Very Important” Special Counsel – Fired Over Russia – Release the Tapes – Special Counsel Will Determine Obstruction – Trump Defamed FBI – Repeated Concerns About President Trump’s Lies

Top Moments from Former FBI Director Comey’s Open Hearing in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

June 8, 2017

VIDEO: Moments You Need to See from the Comey Hearing



VIDEO: Special Counsel Investigation “Very Important” for Investigation of Russian Influence



Former FBI Director Comey: Special Counsel Investigation “Very Important” for Investigation of Russian Influence

Former FBI Director James Comey: “I think all I can say, Senator, is it’s a -- the special counsel's investigation is very important to understanding what efforts there were or are by the Russian government to influence our government is a critical part of the FBI's mission. And you’ve got the right person in Bob Mueller to lead it. So it’s a very important piece of work.”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “[I]t didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation, there might be a tape, and my judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square, and so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “After the President Clinton, former President Clinton met on the plane with the Attorney General, I considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel. And I decided that that would be an unfair thing to do because I knew there was no case there.”

Comey: Trump Administration “Chose to Defame Me And, More Importantly, the FBI”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “[A]lthough the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, 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, and I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I'm so sorry that the American people were told them.”

Comey: Counter Intelligence Investigation Could Lead to Criminal Investigation

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC): “Director, is it possible that, as part of this FBI investigation, the FBI could find evidence of criminality that is not tied to -- to the 2016 elections -- possible collusion or coordination with Russians?”
Former FBI Director James Comey: “Sure.”
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC): “So there could be something that just fits a criminal aspect to this that doesn't have anything to do with the 2016 election cycle?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “Correct. In any complex investigation, when you start turning over rocks, sometimes you find things that are unrelated to the primary investigation, that are criminal in nature.”

Comey: I Was Fired Over Russia Investigation

Former FBI Director James Comey: “I was fired in some way to change or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal. And not just because it involves me. The nature of the FBI and the nature of its work requires that it not be the subject of political consideration.”

Comey: I Wrote Memos Out of Concern “He Might Lie About the Nature of Our Meeting”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): What was it about that meeting that led you to determine that you needed to start putting down a written record?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.”

Comey: The Statue of Justice Has a Blindfold On It; You’re Not Supposed to Be Trying To Please Your “Patron”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “The statue of justice has a blindfold on because you're not supposed to be peeking out to see whether or not your patron is pleased or not with what you're doing.”

Comey: Of Tens of Thousands of FBI Investigations, Trump Only Asked About Flynn

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “How many ongoing investigations at any time does the FBI have?”

Former FBI Director James Comey:  “Tens of thousands.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “Tens of thousands. Did the President ever ask about any other ongoing investigation?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “No.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “Did he ever ask about you trying to interfere on any other investigation?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “No.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA):  “I think, again, this speaks volumes.”

Comey: Russia Investigation Played A Role in My Firing—The President Said So

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA): “Do you believe the Russia investigation played a role?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “In why I was fired?”

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA):  Yes.

Former FBI Director James Comey: “Yes, because I've seen the President say so.”

Comey: I Cannot Discuss Why I Knew Sessions Was Going to Recuse Himself From Russia Investigation In Open Setting

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR): “What was it about the Attorney General's own interactions with the Russians or his behavior with regard to the investigation that would have led the entire leadership of the FBI to make this decision?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “Our judgment as I recall was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting, that would make his continued engagement in a Russia related investigation problematic and so we were -- we were convinced and in fact, I think we had already heard that the career people were recommending that he recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia related matters much longer. And that turned out to be the case.”

Comey: Significant Fact President Trump Kicked Everybody Else Out of The Oval Office

Former FBI Director James Comey: “A really significant fact to me is so why did he kick everybody out of the oval office? Why would you kick the Attorney General, the [Vice] President, the Chief of Staff out to talk to me if it was about something else? And so that, to me, as an investigator, is a very significant fact.”

Comey: President Trump Was Inaccurate When He Claimed He Didn’t Ask Me to Shut Down Flynn Investigation

Sen. Angus King (I-ME): “[I]n his press conference on May 18th, the President was asked whether he urged you to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn. The President responded, quote, no, no, next question. Is that an accurate statement?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “I don't believe it is.”

Comey: Trump Remarks Could Have a “Chilling Effect” on Work of FBI

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK): “Quite frankly, the President has informed around 6 billion people he's not real fond of this investigation. Do you think there's a difference in that?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “Yes.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK): “Okay. What would that be?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “I think there's a big difference in kicking superior officers out of the Oval Office, looking the FBI Director in the eye and saying ‘I hope you let this go.’ I think if agents, as good as they are, heard the President of the United States did that, there's a real risk of a chilling effect on their work. That's why we kept it so tight.”

Comey: I Hope There Are Tapes—Release Them All

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV):  “Do you believe there were any tapes or recordings of your conversations with the President?”

Former FBI Director James Comey: “It never occurred to me till the President's tweet. I’m not being facetious.  I hope there are, and I'll consent to the release … release all the tapes. I'm good with it.”