At a dinner in early January, according to former FBI Director, James Comey, President Trump said to him, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Perhaps President Trump doesn’t understand the role of the Justice Department and more specifically, who they are accountable to.
Presently, James Comey is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on their Russian investigation but he submitted a prepared statement yesterday. In this statement, former Director Comey outlined the conversation he had during a one-on-one dinner with the then President-elect. He states, “The President began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI Director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to.”
He went on to say, “[m]y instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.” Comey continued in his statement that this “concerned” him greatly because of the independent status of the FBI as it relates to the executive branch.
The memo continued as Comey discussed other meetings with the President including an impromptu discussion between just him and the President where Trump seemed to be asking Comey to drop the investigation into then recently fired National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn. Apparently, Trump held Comey back after a meeting of the intelligence heads in the Oval. Comey wrote that the President believed Flynn didn’t do anything wrong, referring to Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador, and that Trump wanted Comey to see his “way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” repeating that Flynn was a “good guy” and that he had “been through a lot.”