James Comey testimony highlights: Trump’s lawyer accuses Comey of leaking ‘privileged communication’ with US president | world-news | Hindustan Times
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James Comey testimony highlights: Trump’s lawyer accuses Comey of leaking ‘privileged communication’ with US president

Former FBI chief James Comey begins addressing the Senate Intelligence Committee. He has accused the Donald Trump administration of defaming him and telling lies about the agency.

world Updated: Jun 09, 2017 08:00 IST
HT Correspondent
Former FBI director James Comey listens to the committee chairman at the beginning of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Former FBI director James Comey listens to the committee chairman at the beginning of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.(AP photo)

Former FBI chief James Comey began his address at the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the most widely anticipated US congressional hearing in years, on Thursday. Photographers crowded around Comey as he took his seat at the witness table alone at the start of the hearing in a room on Capitol Hill.

The US President fired Comey in May. At the time, Comey was leading an investigation into Russia’s election meddling and ties with the Trump campaign.

Trump planned to watch the hearing with his outside counsel Marc Kasowitz and other advisers in a dining room in the White House, a source familiar with the plan said.

The outcome could have significant repercussions for Trump’s presidency as special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees investigate alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with this. Russia has denied such interference and the White House has denied any collusion.

Here are the live updates:

11.56pm:

11.37pm: Trump’s attorney attacks Comey for leaking ‘privileged communications’ with the US president to media.

11.36pm: In his statement, Kasowitz says Trump never ‘directed or suggested’ Comey stop investigating anyone, including Michael Flynn. Trump’s attorney says Comey’s hearing established Trump was not being investigated for colluding or attempting to obstruct FBI probe.

11.34pm: Donald Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz addresses press conference and says the US president never asked Comey for ‘loyalty’.

11.21pm: As Comey’s testimony ends, chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee says there’s more work ahead in the committee’s investigation. According to AP, Senator Richard Burr says the committee plans to get together next week with the special counsel who’s leading an investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 US presidential election.

11.06pm:

Comey said he took Trump’s “hope” that investigation into former NSA Michael Flynn would end as a directive.

11.03pm: Comey said he “was honestly concerned he (Trump) might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document.”

10.48pm: Comey said there were “very disturbing” requests by Trump that he drop an investigation into a former national security advisor’s ties to Russia.

“I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning,” he said before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

10.47pm: US stocks were higher in early afternoon trading on Thursday after former Comey’s testimony was seen by investors as having no smoking gun that could affect Donald Trump’s presidency. Investors were concerned that any major revelation by Comey could dampen already flagging momentum for Trump’s agenda of lower taxes and lax regulations.

Bets that Trump can implement his agenda are partly behind a rally that has taken stock indexes to record highs.

10.25pm: Republican senator Burr says after Comey hearing “this is nowhere near the end of our investigation”.

10.03pm: White House says Trump takes elections seriously, will do everything to ensure that they will be conducted without interference from anyone.

10.02pm: White House, on sanctions on Russia, says administration is committed to the existing sanctions until Ukraine crisis resolved.

10.01pm: Theformer FDI director says he believes he was fired to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.

9.59pm: Comey says he was fired because something about the way he was conducting Russia investigation was pressuring, irritating Trump.

9.49pm: White House says Trump is pleased that Comey has confirmed he is not under investigation in any Russia probe

9.45pm: White House, asked about Comey’s testimony that he was concerned Trump would lie, says the President is not a liar.

9.44pm: Comey, asked if US President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice, says, ‘I don’t know. That’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out’.

9.42pm:

9.40pm: US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, asked about US President Donald Trump’s interactions with former FBI Director James Comey, said Trump “was new at this” and probably not “steeped” in FBI independence from the White House. “I’m not saying it’s an acceptable excuse. It’s just my observation.”

9.35pm: The former FBI chief says will not say if he believes Trump colluded with Russia in open hearing.

9.29pm: Comey says if Trump has tapes, he urges him to release all their conversations, says “I’m good with it”.

9.26pm: US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney to make a statement following James Comey’s testimony.

9.25pm: “There have been many, many news stories about Russia probe that are just dead wrong,” says Comey

9.16pm: The former FBI director says he asked a friend to leak memo of conversations with Trump to spark a special counsel appointment.

9.15pm: Comey says he never initiated communication with President Trump.

9.11pm: President Donald Trump disputes two key points in Comey’s testimony, says a source familiar with Trump’s thinking. The points are -- that Trump asked Comey to let go of the probe into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and said Trump asked for his loyalty.

9pm: US President’s son Donald Trump Jr. attacks Comey on Twitter.

8.59pm: Comey says he perceived Trump’s request to drop Flynn probe as an order.

8.58pm: Comey says FBI colleagues were as shocked and troubled as he was by Trump’s request to drop Flynn probe.

8.43pm: Fired FBI director James Comey describes US President Donald Trump’s requests to stop probing the Russia ties of a former national security advisor as “very disturbing”.

8.40pm: Comey says Trump misguided the American public when he said the FBI was in disarray last month after his firing. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”

8.35pm: Comey says he thought during a January dinner with President Trump that the president was “looking to get something” in exchange for allowing him to stay on as FBI director.

8.34pm: President Donald Trump will dispute key parts of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, reports AP quoting a source close to the US President’s legal team.

8.32pm: “I didn’t immediately reject Trump request to drop Flynn probe because I was so stunned ... I just took it in,” says Comey during Senate Intelligence committee testimony.

8.31pm: Comey says he took notes on Trump meetings because he feared the president would “lie.”

8.30pm: Comey, on Trump’s tweet about potential recordings of their conversation: ‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes’.

8.28pm: Shifting explanations of my firing confused and concerned me: Comey

8.25pm: James Comey says Donald Trump was not under FBI investigation while he was director.

8.22pm: The former FBI director says he was concerned President Trump would “lie” about the nature of his first conversation with him

8.22pm: Comey says the Trump administration spread ‘lies’ and ‘defamed’ him and the FBI.

8.20pm: The former FBI director says he believed Trump was “looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job”.

8.20pm: Comey says he created memo on January meeting with Trump because “I was honestly concerned that he might lie”.

8.19pm: Comey says Trump did not ask him to stop Russia investigation.

8.15pm: Have no doubt Russia interfered with US election, says ex-FBI director James Comey in testimony new messages.