Has James B. Comey, the previous director of the F.B.I., ever hugged and kissed the particular counsel, Robert S. Mueller III?
President Trump, who fired Mr. Comey in Could 2017, stated in September he might produce greater than 100 pictures of such affection.
In testimony behind closed doorways earlier than the Home Judiciary and Home Oversight Committees on Friday, Mr. Comey had a solution: “I’m an admirer, however not that type of admirer.”
Mr. Comey’s testimony was specified by a 235-page transcript that was launched on Saturday. It revealed that he answered questions on investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e mail server and whether or not Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign advisers colluded with the Russian authorities within the 2016 presidential election.
He defended the integrity of the F.B.I. regardless of claims of bias. He spoke about 4 People the F.B.I. investigated for connections to Russian interference within the 2016 election. And he defended his choice to not prosecute Mrs. Clinton in July 2016 over her dealing with of categorized info whereas she was secretary of state.
In two indignant tweets, Mr. Trump on Sunday lashed out at Mr. Comey, calling him a liar.
“His Friday testimony was so untruthful!” Mr. Trump stated in a single. “This entire deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest individuals who would do something in order that I couldn’t develop into President.”
What else did Mr. Comey should say on Friday? The transcript provided some fascinating morsels. Right here’s a glance.
Comey and Mueller: Are they greatest buddies?
In an interview with The Each day Caller in September, Mr. Trump declared that Mr. Mueller was Mr. Comey’s greatest pal.
“And I might offer you 100 footage of him and Comey hugging and kissing one another,” Mr. Trump stated.
In regards to the pictures, Mr. Comey stated he wasn’t conscious that any existed. “I’ve by no means hugged or kissed the person,” he stated. “Once more, I’m an admirer however not that type of admirer.”
Consultant Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, requested, “Are you greatest buddies with Robert Mueller?”
“I’m not,” Mr. Comey replied. “I like the heck out of the person, however I don’t know his cellphone quantity, I’ve by no means been to his home, I don’t know his youngsters’s names. I feel I had a meal as soon as alone with him in a restaurant. I like him.”
Mr. Nadler thanked Mr. Comey and stated he wouldn’t ask “whether or not you’ve ever hugged and kissed him.”
“A aid to my spouse,” Mr. Comey replied.
He was quizzed on the historical past of elections
At one level, questioning turned to textual content exchanges between the F.B.I. agent Peter Strzok, who had overseen an investigation into Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign, and Lisa Web page, an F.B.I. lawyer.
Consultant Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, stated that one textual content from March 2016 learn, “Hillary ought to win 100 million to zero.”
“In the middle of human historical past, has anybody received an election 100 million to zero, to your data?” Mr. Gowdy requested.
“I don’t imply to be facetious,” Mr. Comey replied. “I can’t converse to Stalin’s re-election or Mao Zedong re-election campaigns.”
He added, “I bear in mind as a scholar the vote in Soviet Russia was 99.9 p.c to …”
Mr. Gowdy interjected to say, “We’re going to get to Russia in a little bit bit.”
Mr. Strzok was fired this yr after an inspector normal’s report uncovered texts that it stated demonstrated animosity to Mr. Trump. Ms. Web page resigned in Could.
In a single textual content, Ms. Web page requested: Mr. Trump was “not ever going to develop into president, proper? Proper?!” Mr. Strzok responded: “No. No he received’t. We’ll cease it.”
Later in his testimony, Mr. Comey defended Mr. Strzok, saying he by no means noticed any indication that he was biased.
Mendacity is, fortunately for some, not against the law
Consultant John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, requested whether or not the F.B.I., in interviewing Mrs. Clinton, had thought of the likelihood that she would lie.
“Knowingly making a false assertion to the F.B.I. is against the law, appropriate?” Mr. Ratcliffe requested.
“That’s appropriate,” Mr. Comey replied.
“Making a false public assertion ordinarily is just not against the law, appropriate?” Mr. Ratcliffe stated.
“That’s appropriate,” Mr. Comey stated. “Thank goodness, for lots of people.”
Critics are ‘smoking one thing’
Mr. Ratcliffe questioned Mr. Comey’s choice to not prosecute Mrs. Clinton.
“And on July 5, 2016, you stood earlier than the American folks and stated that neither you nor any affordable prosecutor would deliver any prices on this truth sample. Is that correct?” Mr. Ratcliffe requested.
“Yep. I believed it then, I imagine it now,” Mr. Comey replied. “And anyone that thinks we have been on Crew Clinton making an attempt to chop her a break is smoking one thing.”
“I’ll object to all the things after ‘yep’ as nonresponsive to my query,” Mr. Ratcliffe stated.
The Russia investigation can’t be stopped
There was persistent chatter in current months about the potential of the president firing Mr. Mueller.
Consultant Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, requested Mr. Comey what he thought would occur to persevering with investigations if that have been to occur.
“I don’t know at this level,” Mr. Comey stated. “I don’t know. And as an knowledgeable outsider, I feel that it might — you’d virtually have to fireplace everybody within the F.B.I. and the Justice Division to derail the related investigations, however I don’t know precisely what the impact can be.”