Report: Released Comey Memos Contradict Trump-Russia “Collusion” Narrative

AP REPORTS THE OPPOSITE BUT RELEASES THE DOCUMENTS

by Sharon Rondeau

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4442900-Ex-FBI-Director-James-Comey-s-memos.html

(Apr. 19,2018) — Memos which fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following meetings with President-Elect and later President Donald J. Trump appear to support Trump’s claim that he did not attempt to convince Comey to halt the investigation into whether or not anyone from his campaign “colluded” with Russian operatives to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, according to Fox News on Thursday night.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. EDT, FNC’s Ed Henry and commentator Sean Hannity quoted from the seven now-released memos, which contain redactions of what is reported to be classified material.

In testimony to Congress last June, a month after he was terminated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Comey admitted to leaking at least one of the memos to his friend, Daniel Richman, with the intent to share its contents with The New York Times to spur the hiring of a Special Counsel to investigate the “collusion” allegations.

Comey  has not hidden his dislike for the president since his dismissal, although on Thursday he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he does not “hate” Trump.  The two men have exchanged frequent barbs on Twitter for some time which have grown increasingly strident as Comey launched his tour this week to publicize the release of his book, “A Higher Loyalty.”

Several months ago, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Trey Gowdy said he had read the memos and suggested that they do not support the narrative that Trump attempted to interfere in the FBI’s “collusion” investigation.

The revelations made by Fox contradict claims from the mainstream media for more than 18 months that Trump allegedly “colluded” with Kremlin operatives and potentially committed “obstruction of justice.”  Trump wanted Comey to probe whether or not anyone on his campaign “did something wrong,” according to Fox.

After the memos were delivered to Congress by the Justice Department Thursday, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings claimed that they prove that Trump demanded a pledge of “personal loyalty” from Comey and “wanted to end the Russia investigation.”

Bloomberg News reported that the memo leaked to Richman was “clearly marked unclassified.”

However, Fox reported that the memos contain no memorialization by Comey that Trump demanded a promise of loyalty.

Fox additionally said that Comey claimed to Trump during a January 2017 dinner meeting that he was not a “leaker” and did not “do sneaky things.”  Last Friday, Trump called Comey “a leaker and a liar who should be prosecuted,” to which Comey strongly objected.

The Associated Press, however, is reporting that the longstanding narrative that Comey had written that Trump asked for a pledge of “loyalty” and for him to “end an investigation into Flynn,” meaning Trump’s first national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret), appear in the memos.

On Thursday night, Fox 4o in Sacramento reported in a CNN Wire story that in the memo released to Richman, Comey “wrote that Trump asked him to curtail the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.”

The AP reported last June 8 that “Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign, bluntly accusing the White House of spreading ‘lies, plain and simple.'”

On Wednesday, 11 members of the U.S. House of Representatives referred Comey, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and others associated with the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI for criminal investigation to current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber, who Sessions appointed to investigate the FBI for “possible political corruption.”

A press release by Republicans Gowdy, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte states, in part:

Former Director Comey’s memos show the President made clear he wanted allegations of collusion, coordination, and conspiracy between his campaign and Russia fully investigated. The memos also made clear the ‘cloud’ President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud, rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the dossier.

The memos also show former Director Comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened. While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation.

A formal Democrat response, other than Cummings’s comments noted above, was not immediately available Thursday night.

Members of three congressional investigative committees had given the Justice Department until this past Monday to deliver the Comey memos amid the specter of a subpoena or other enforcement measure after the deadline was missed.

The AP posted the memos here:  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4442900-Ex-FBI-Director-James-Comey-s-memos.html

Comey recollected the January 27, 2017 dinner meeting as “pleasant at all times.”  He noted on page 4 that Trump “replied that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty,” to which Comey reportedly did not respond.

Several times, Comey wrote that “the President could fire me anytime he liked.”

On page 10, Comey wrote that Trump claimed that in transcripts of his “leaked” calls to the leaders of Australia and Mexico in the early days of his administration, there appeared “things he doesn’t remember saying.”

On page 11, Comey wrote that he was “eager to find leakers.”

Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news.  She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.

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