På torsdag stiller tidligere FBI-direktør James Comey opp foran Senatets etterretningskomité. Her er høydepunktene.
Comeys skriftlige forklaring ble lagt ut på Senatets nettsider onsdag ettermiddag, amerikansk tid. I forklaringen skildrer Comey på dramatisk vis hans møter og samtaler med president Donald Trump i månedene før han ble sparket.
Forklaringen bekrefter det The New York Times og The Washington Post har skrevet om forholdet mellom Comey og Trump. Det bekrefter i tillegg det Trump selv har hevdet, nemlig at Comey ved tre ulike anledninger bekreftet at Trump selv ikke var under etterforskning.
I deres aller første møte, forteller Comey Trump om et dokument skrevet av tidligere MI6-agent Christopher Steele. Dokumentet inneholder ubrekreftet, men kompromitterende informasjon om Trump. Comey sier også til Trump han ikke er under etterforskning.
I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward.
Trump inviterer Comey til en privat middag i Det hvite hus. Etter hvert spør Trump Comey om han har lyst til å fortsette i sin stilling — noe Comey stusset over, siden Trump tidligere hadde sagt at jobben hans var trygg.
My 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. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.
Så forlanger Trump Comeys lojalitet, noe han ikke kunne garantere:
A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.
Etter å ha gitt Trump en oppdatering om USAs anti-terroraktivitet i Det ovale kontor, ber presidenten om å få snakke med Comey uten noen andre til stede:
When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify.
The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.”
Trump ringer Comey og beskriver Russland-etterforskningen som «a cloud» som gjør det vanskelig for han å utrette noe som helst:
He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been
involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well.
Nok en telefonsamtale om «the cloud». Denne gangen spør Trump Comey om hva han har gjort for å kunngjøre at han ikke er under etterforskning. Comey forslår at Trump bør snakke med Justisdepartementet.
He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He said that was what he would do and the call ended. That was the last time I spoke with President Trump.
Høringen i Sentatets etterretningskomité sendes live i morgen fra klokken 16.00 norsk tid.
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