11:45 a.m.: The critical distinction in this hearing:
The big picture question at this point in the hearing is whether President Trump acted in a way that obstructed justice by interfering with the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
The key moment when this could have happened was an Oval Office meeting with Trump. Comey was there with other members of the US intelligence community for a meeting. As it ended, Trump, according to Comey, told Comey to stay behind.
During their conversation Trump brought up Flynn investigation. Press reports last month said that Trump asked Comey to “let it go” but under oath today, Comey said those words were never actually used and instead simply implied. Comey said he believed that is what Trump wanted him to do. But of course he didn’t drop the investigation.
Given that the first article of impeachment written up on Richard Nixon was about obstruction of justice, the intricacies of this point matter.
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 3:56:01 PM
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:00:52 PM
Comey: If FBI agents had heard Trump request to end Flynn probe, there would be "real risk of a chilling effect" -- AP
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:03:51 PM
12: p.m.: Comey engineered a press leak with the hope it would create a special prosecutor
Comey said that after he saw the Trump tweet suggesting there might be a recording of their Oval Office meeting, Comey remembered in the middle of the night that he took notes of the meeting.
The former FBI director then told the committee that he called a friend at Columbia Law School to leak the contents of his notes to a reporter at the New York Times. Comey said his hope was that the move would force the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel. It worked. Days later former FBI director Robert Mueller was hired for that role.
And if those tapes do exist, what does Comey think should be done with them?
“Release the tapes. I’m good with it,” he testified Thursday.
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:12:26 PM
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:18:02 PM
James Comey said in his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he was confused by the request.
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:22:40 PM
Comey: After Trump's "tapes" tweet he asked friend to share content of his meeting memos to "prompt the appointment of a special counsel"
Anush Elbakyan, Senior... 6/8/2017 4:24:20 PM
The former FBI director told senators, ‘‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes,’’ in referring to his meetings with President Trump.
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:26:23 PM
Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed James Comey’s testimony when asked about it during an off-camera briefing at the White House.
Katie McLeod, BostonGlobe... 6/8/2017 4:41:33 PM