Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) just called out President Trump’s denial of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, calling on the president to testify under oath before congressional investigators.
Murphy’s full statement:
It’s hard to overstate the impact of Jim Comey’s testimony today. For the first time, under oath and penalty of perjury, the former FBI Director testified that the president repeatedly pressed him for a pledge of loyalty, and asked him to drop the investigation into illegal activity of a White House staffer at the center of the Russia probe. A couple months later, after neither request was fulfilled, Trump fired him. That confirms that media reports aren’t ‘fake news’ – they’re very real and very concerning.
Every day, it seems like the walls are closing in on this president. What’s most important is that investigators in the Senate and at the Department of Justice get all the facts and find the truth. If the White House’s account differs from what we heard today, the American people deserve to hear the president’s side of the story in a similar forum – under oath and open to the press.
Comey told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump had asked him to pledge his loyalty to the president, and on one point had asked the former FBI director to end the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.
President Trump flatly denied these accusations today via his lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.
Comey was abruptly fired by Trump last month, with Trump claiming it was a result of his handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email use – a handling that Trump had previously praised during his campaign. Trump later said in an interview with Lester Holt that the FBI’s Russia investigation was a factor in Comey’s firing.
“The administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly run,” Comey said today. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”
The last sitting president to testify before a congressional panel was President Gerald R. Ford in 1974, who answered for why he chose to pardon former President Richard Nixon.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWO