The Damage Is Done Regardless Of What Trump And Comey Discussed At Dinner
If a post-inauguration dinner between President Donald Trump and then-FBI director James Comey unfolded the way the President claims it did, then he’s got some big problems on his hands, former Justice Department officials and FBI agents say.
In a bombshell interview on Thursday night with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump claimed he had received three separate assurances from the now-ousted Comey that he was not personally under investigation for collusion with the Russian government.
“I actually asked him, yes,” Trump told Holt. “I said, “If it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said ‘you are not under investigation.’”
“He said it once at dinner and then he said it twice during phone calls,” Trump added.
According to the New York Times, that unusual private dinner in January also involved Trump demanding a pledge of loyalty from Comey, who instead promised to remain honest. Trump not only fired Comey, but appeared to issue a public threat Friday morning to release “tapes” of their conversation if Comey were to speak to the press.
While many details remain unverified, several former DOJ officials and FBI agents told TPM that it would be a serious violation of protocol for Trump to ask Comey if he was under investigation.
“It’s improper,” a former high-level Justice Department official said. “It gives both appearance of impropriety, which can cause the investigation’s reputation to be damaged irretrievably, and it’s an invitation to share information that’s grand jury-protected.” Read full story