ABC: Comey Will Dispute Trump Claims, Won’t Accuse Him Of Obstructing Justice

FBI Director James Comey testifies as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence holds its first public hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the murky web of contacts between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Former FBI Director James Comey will dispute President Donald Trump’s account of their conversations when he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, but will not accuse Trump of obstructing justice, ABC News reported on Tuesday.

ABC News reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with Comey’s thinking, that he will contest Trump’s claim that Comey told him three times that he was not under investigation by the FBI as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

According to the report, Comey told associates that he will stop short of accusing the President of obstructing justice by interfering with that investigation.

Comey “is not going to Congress to make accusations about the President’s intent” but rather to “share his concerns” and discuss “what made him uneasy,” the source told ABC News.

The New York Times reported in May that Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a request that Comey documented in a contemporaneous memo.

The White House pushed back on the report, and denied that Trump asked Comey “to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn.”

“This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey,” the White House said in a statement. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations.”

CNN reported last week that Comey plans to testify that Trump pressured him to drop the investigation.

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that Trump will not use executive privilege to try and block Comey from testifying.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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