Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump says public can see Mueller report Anderson Cooper blasts Trump over McCain attacks: 'He's punching a person who is dead' Clyburn: Trump and family 'greatest threats to democracy' in lifetime MORE said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE is "certainly close" to being an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing investigation into campaign finance violations. 

Comey said during a discussion with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace during an event that Trump does not fit the description in the "formal sense" because he hasn't been named in an indictment.

"But if he’s not there, he’s certainly close given the language in the filing that the crimes were committed at his direction," Comey said, referring to a filing from federal prosecutors last Friday that said Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump in steering illegal payments during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Comey later added that Trump would be in "serious jeopardy" of being charged in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) investigation if he wasn't the president. 

"The government wouldn’t make that sponsoring allegation if they weren't seriously contemplating going forward with criminal charges," he said. "Where it stands here, I can’t say."

ADVERTISEMENT

On Friday, the SDNY released new documents about its case against Cohen, including arguments that Trump directed Cohen to make a pair of payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump. 

Trump has repeatedly denied their claims of having affairs with him. 

The filing does not directly name Trump, but makes multiple references to him as "Individual-1."

Cohen previously pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in August. Prosecutors are recommending he serve a 42-month sentence for violations of campaign finance law and charges of bank and tax fraud.  

Comey's comments about Trump came the same day the president lashed out at his ex-FBI director, accusing him of lying during testimony he gave to House lawmakers about the probe into Russia's election interference. 

"Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful!" Trump tweeted.

Comey privately testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees last week. Among other things, a transcript of his testimony revealed that the counterintelligence investigation into possible conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign began by examining four Americans.