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Trump partially denies Comey's testimony, mum on existence of recordings

Trump partially denies Comey's testimony, mum on existence of recordings

With vivid detail, he told the panel when the idea dawned on him - "in the middle of the night" - and what moved him to act.

President Trump will reveal "next week" whether or not he has taped private conversations between himself and fired FBI Director James Comey, according to the president's legal team. And Comey discussed the contents of the memo in an open congressional hearing, which means the material he shared with his friend would not have been classified, Aftergood said.

"He's a leaker", Trump said dismissively.

In those conversations, Comey said, Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge and requested that he end a probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

On Sunday, Schumer also said he would like to clear up the matter of whether Trump does indeed have tapes of his conversations with Comey, as the president has suggested.

The result left Trump with Marc Kasowitz, a civil litigator with no background in constitutional cases, who represented the president in a variety of lawsuits, including the fraud allegations surrounding Trump University.

But there is a more fundamental issue with a privilege claim against Comey: Trump not only didn't invoke executive privilege in advance of Comey's hearing, in which the substance of his memos was discussed, he sent out a White House spokesperson early in the week to explicitly say that he would not be invoking privilege with regard to Comey's testimony.

"No collusion. No obstruction". That doesn't seem to me to be the kind of thing we want out of an Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Comey also said he thinks Trump fired him over the Russian Federation investigation.

Every one of them wanted to ask about the same thing: the testimony that the former F.B.I. director James Comey had given on Thursday. It may be against Department of Justice policies to do what Comey did, but the harshest remedy for that is dismissal, and Trump already used that option. Every lawyer on the planet would want Comey testifying for their side over Trump.

But that comment also reinforces another way in which this isn't just a he-said, he-said. He also said that would be "100%" willing to be questioned under oath.

"But in this kind of thing, he's not going to lie", she said about Comey's testimony.

So apparently, Trump would give his version of events under oath. "One hundred per cent", Trump said.

The Russia probe, now led by special counsel Robert Mueller, is looking at possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. "Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?" he said.

Several reporters shouted follow-up questions on the existence of the tapes after Trump's non-answer.

Trump knows very well that sworn testimony is a whole different ballgame.

Granting all of those points, could Trump's interference nonetheless add up to a "high crime and misdemeanor" that warrants impeachment?

Still, experts debated the legality of Comey's secret back channel.

Indeed, Kasowitz's plan to go after Comey by way of the Justice Department's Inspector General's office is itself more troubling than Comey's actions. Trump's presidency has been all about playing to his base so far, and his base, in this instance, is returning the favour. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers may have stiff-armed senators' questions about Trump's reported efforts to have them intervene on the Russian Federation matter; they won't be able to easily evade Mueller.

Even in the story of the boy who cried wolf, most of the time the boy was lying.


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