James Comey Trashed Loretta Lynch to Trump; Eric Holder 'Smarter'

Friday, 20 Apr, 2018

The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing. Late Thursday night, Trump tweeted that the memos "show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION".

And McCabe, a spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday, is aware that he could be facing criminal charges after the Justice Department referred his case to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. The inspector general's office says McCabe improperly directed an aide to leak information to The Wall Street Journal and then "lacked candor" about it to investigators. The memos obtained by the AP were unclassified, though some portions were blacked out as classified.

The memos reveal that days before Flynn's firing, Priebus asked Comey if Flynn's communications were being monitored under a secret surveillance warrant.

Comey has said publicly that, "I knew there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the Federal Bureau of Investigation and our integrity as an institution and the independence of our investigative function".

Boyd copied the ranking Democrats on all three committees, as well as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump eventually fired Comey and has given several reasons, including Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigations and the Russian Federation matter.

That memorandum also recalls a now-infamous exchange that was leaked to the media in which Trump allegedly told Comey "that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty".

They give details of the telephonic conversations and meetings that Comey has had with Trump before he was sacked by the president last May. He then blamed Flynn for a delay in returning the congratulatory call of an global leader.

"I did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgment of any Federal Bureau of Investigation interest in or contact with Flynn", Comey wrote. The Justice Department asked for more time, and the lawmakers agreed.

In one memo, Comey recounts a February 8, 2017, meeting with then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, about two weeks after acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House that Michael Flynn, then Trump's national security adviser, had lied about his December 2016 conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

"I said something about the value of putting a head on a pike as a message", Comey wrote.

Comey's response is redacted on the unclassified memos. Comey writes how Trump repeatedly denied to him having been involved in an encounter with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. In their final April 11 conversation, Comey writes that Trump told him: "I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know". And in that same speech, he made light of the Trump-prostitute allegation, saying Trump had met the most lovely women in the world and so had no need for Moscow prostitutes, adding that "they are also the best in the world".

The documents also include the president's musings about pursuing leakers and imprisoning journalists. Holder was "smarter and more sophisticated and smoother", Comey writes, although he thought Lynch was "a good person".

Obtained by AFP Thursday after the Justice Department released them to Congress, the memos could become evidence in a criminal investigation into whether Trump consciously tried to obstruct the probe.

According to Fox News, the memos were delivered to the House Judiciary, Oversight and Intelligence Committees "following threats from Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to subpoena Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for failing to meet the deadline to submit the documents".

Those familiar with the memos say they are longer, and more detailed, than Comey has described publicly and are therefore - from the White House perspective - more "favorable" than Comey's description in his book or in recent interviews.

Boyd writes that the department "consulted the relevant parties" and concluded that releasing the memos would not adversely affect any ongoing investigations.

But Comey never committed to easing off the investigation, which continues to examine a number of suspicious contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Some of the episodes have been recounted in Comey's congressional testimony previous year and in his new book, "A Higher Loyalty". He revealed past year that he had written the memos after conversations with Trump.

The Justice Department has sent Congress confidential memos written by former FBI Director James Comey.

It's not clear what in the memos led the president to reach the conclusion.