President Trump feels "vindicated" following the release of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE’s prepared testimony before Congress about the pair's past conversations, the president's lawyer said Wednesday.
“The president feels completely and totally vindicated,” Marc Kasowitz, an attorney representing Trump in the special counsel probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, said in a statement. “He is eager to move forward with his agenda.”
Kasowitz pointed to sections of Comey’s planned remarks in which the ousted FBI chief said he informed Trump that he “was not under investigation in any Russian probe” — a claim Trump made in his letter informing the former director of his firing last month.
But the lawyer did not dispute other revelations from Comey’s testimony, which he is set to deliver publicly on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Those other revelations confirmed reports that Trump has previously denied.
For example, Comey says in his opening statement that Trump asked him to “let go” of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, whom Trump ask to step down after he misled senior officials about his conversations with Russia's ambassador.
Comey also recounted another private conversation when the president asked him to “lift the cloud” of the FBI’s probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia’s election-meddling effort.
Critics have said those comments, combined with Trump's alleged attempt to get Comey to pledge his "loyalty," could amount to obstruction of justice.
During a press conference last month, Trump was asked whether he urged Comey “in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn.”
“No. No. Next question,” Trump responded.
Comey is likely to be pressed for further details about his conversations with Trump during his high-stakes appearance before the Senate panel Thursday. Lawmakers are likely to scrutinize Comey’s claim that he did not take Trump’s request to “let this go” in reference to Flynn to be a broader reference to the Russia probe, among other details.
Kasowitz, a New York trial attorney who has represented Trump in the past, is consulting with the president and his team ahead of the testimony. He was spotted on the White House grounds early Wednesday by a Bloomberg News reporter.