UPDATE: In a statement for the record released Wednesday, former FBI Director James Comey said he did, in fact, inform President Donald Trump multiple times that Trump was not personally under investigation. Comey said Trump pressured him to make information that public. CNN issued a correction to its initial report after Comey released his statement.
Such a statement by Comey, who is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, would directly contradict Trump, who wrote in a public letter to Comey when he fired him that he had been assured he was not under investigation. Informing the president of his status in an investigation, Comey will reportedly testify, would be improper for an FBI director.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote to Comey in the May 9 letter in which he fired him.
The day after Trump fired Comey, he is said to have bragged to Russian officials about it during an Oval Office meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” he told them, according to The New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
In highly anticipated testimony, Comey will also reportedly stop short of saying Trump asked him to interfere in the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to ABC News. In May, the Times reported Comey detailed a request from Trump to him about Flynn in which the president said, “I hope you can let this go.” The Times also reported that Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty but that the then-FBI director refused.
Comey was also apparently so disturbed by Trump’s requests about Flynn that afterward he reportedly asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to let him be alone with Trump.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Trump asked Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, on March 22 if he could intervene with Comey to influence the Flynn investigation. Coats ultimately decided that doing so would be inappropriate, according to the Post.
On Monday, the White House said Trump would not claim executive privilege to block Comey from testifying. On Tuesday, Trump simply said he wished Comey “good luck.”