POLITICS

5 highlights from James Comey’s prepared Senate testimony

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released the opening statement former FBI Director James Comey plans to give during testimony Thursday. 

Here are the highlights: 

NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION

Comey said he assured then-President-elect Trump in a briefing at Trump Tower that he was not the focus of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

And he described what he did in the immediate aftermath.

“I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the president-elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting.” 

LOYALTY OATH

Comey said that Trump on Jan. 27 invited him to a White House dinner later that night, though he was unclear who else the president had invited.

“I assumed there would be others,” Comey recalled in the testimony. “It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.”

Comey said Trump’s purported request for a so-called loyalty pledge took place at the dinner.

“A few moments later, the president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on.”

Comey said he agreed on the term “honest loyalty” to end the “very awkward conversation."

FLYNN APPEAL

Comey said a Feb. 24 Oval Office meeting is where Trump asked him to back off investigating Michael Flynn, the national security adviser whom Trump fired a day earlier for not fully disclosing talks with a Russian diplomat.

“When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the president began by saying, 'I want to talk about Mike Flynn.'"

Comey said he thought Trump wanted him to stop investigating Flynn, not drop the entire Russia probe. 

RUSSIA 'CLOUD' 

Comey said Trump finished a March 30 phone call with him by stressing the Russia investigation “cloud” was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped he could find a way to "lift the cloud."

Comey said Trump also hoped he could "get out" that he wasn’t being investigated. 

LAST CALL

The former FBI director also detailed his fifth and final discussion with Trump, an April 11 call in which Trump asked what he had done about his request to get out that he is not personally under investigation.

Comey said Trump added cryptically: “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.”

Comey said he didn’t reply and “that was the last time I spoke with President Trump.”