Comey’s Side of the Story:
Key Moments With Trump

By Kevin WhitelawKevin Whitelaw, Dave MerrillDave Merrill and Chloe WhiteakerChloe Whiteaker

Former FBI Director James Comey submitted a seven-page opening statement ahead of his blockbuster appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Comey in the statement recalled having nine one-on-one conversations with President Donald Trump in four months, a stark contrast from only two such meetings he held with President Barack Obama in the course of three-and-a-half years. He said that after his first meeting with Trump on Jan. 6, he “felt compelled” to document the conversation, something he hadn’t done before.

Comey’s last conversation with Trump came on April 11. Trump fired him on May 9.

Comey tells Trump there’s no open counterintelligence probe on Trump
The president has claimed that Comey told him three times that he wasn’t under investigation, which Comey corroborates. But Comey uses precise language in the statement, referring specifically to there being no “open counterintelligence case.”
Trump asks for Comey’s loyalty in private dinner on Jan. 27
Comey had already told the president that he would serve out his 10-year term. By design, the FBI isn’t supposed to be a political entity, but rather an independent law enforcement agency that frequently investigates elements of the executive branch.
Comey gives his interpretation of Trump’s Feb. 14 request to “let this go” on Mike Flynn, the national security adviser ousted the previous day
Comey’s explanation offers ammunition to both Trump’s supporters and his critics. He said he interpreted Trump’s request narrowly, but that it was still “very concerning.”
Comey tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions he doesn’t want “direct communication” with Trump
This puts an uncomfortable spotlight on Sessions, a close Trump ally who has already recused himself in the Russia investigation. Comey’s statement makes it clear that Sessions was made aware of his discomfort, but Comey also said that he didn’t tell the attorney general the entire story because he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian probe, as he later did.
Trump asks Comey to “lift the cloud” of investigation from his presidency
Senators will likely focus in on what Comey thought about Trump’s repeated request to “get out” that he wasn’t under investigation, particularly in light of his eventual firing. Comey doesn’t explain how he interpreted these requests in his statements, but he will almost certainly be asked in Thursday’s hearing whether he considers Trump’s actions as amounting to obstruction of justice.