During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, former FBI Director James Comey admitted to having a friend leak a memo related to accusations President Trump asked him to drop the Flynn investigation as part of an effort to push for a special counsel into the Russian meddling investigation.
“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey said, as transcribed by The Hill. “I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
The Hill reports that Comey further “characterized the friend as a close friend who is a professor at Columbia Law school.”
The New York Times was the first to report on Comey’s memo in mid-May, writing that Trump told Comey “I hope you can let this go” in reference to the Flynn investigation.
This, of course, prompted a firestorm of stories from the mainstream media – a firestorm that has continued following the release of Comey’s opening statement yesterday, which confirmed that Trump use those words.
Comey’s attempt to push for a special counsel, of course, was successful as – the day after the memo leak – former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named as the special counsel for the Russia investigation.
In regards to Trump’s remarks to Comey about Flynn, however, Comey acknowledged today that while he took this as an order coming from the President, Trump did not specifically ask for the matter to be dropped, nor has anyone ever been prosecuted for saying they “hope” something would happen.
Watch Comey’s full testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee below.
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