Comey now believes Trump tried to influence FBI investigation, plans to testify

After it was revealed that US President Donald Trump told Russian officials he felt less pressure after dismissing the former FBI Director James Comey, Comey has agreed to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A source close to the former director claims Comey now really believes Trump tried to influence his investigation into Russian ties to his campaign.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Ten days have passed since the US president announced he dismissed FBI Director James Comey, yet. the issue has not dropped from the headlines. After being invited at the start of the week to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey announced last night (Friday) that he intends to do so publicly, before the Senate.

The main question that will be at the center of Comey’s testimony is whether Trump tried to influence an FBI investigation. According to CNN, a source close to Comey says the former director now believes Trump tried to influence his investigation into Russia election interference. However, the source added that proving the president committed such a crime would be difficult because “you have to have intent in order to obstruct justice in the criminal sense.”

Comey plans to testify at Senate hearing Photo Credit: SKY News/Channel 2 News

Although Trump has denied involvement in the investigation, The New York Times reported that Trump told Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office that dismissing Comey reduced pressure on him from the investigation. According to a document detailing the Russian officials’ visit with Trump, Trump stated: “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job…I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

As previously reported by JOL, although Trump initially stated that Comey’s dismissal was irrelevant to Russia probe, the conversation between Trump and Russian officials reinforces the claims that Trump was trying to derail Comey’s investigation. 

US Press Secretary Sean Spicer Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

US Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the reported conversation, rather claimed that Comey was in fact placing unnecessary pressure on the president which undermined his ability to maintain diplomatic relations with Russia, necessary to discuss important global issues. In another statement, Spicer reiterated that Russia had no influence over Trump and that an investigation will prove as such.  

Meanwhile, CNN also revealed that senior Russian officials boasted that they managed to cultivate a relationship with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Donald Trump. According to the report, Flynn was treated as an "ally" by the Russians.

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