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James Comey Releases Prepared Statement Ahead Of Senate Testimony

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey has prepared a seven-page opening remark ahead of a Senate Intel Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday morning.

When Comey was fired in May, the White House cited as justification a Justice Department memo that criticized his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

But Trump himself has since acknowledged that he was thinking about “this Russia thing” when he fired Comey, and the author of the memo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said he wrote the memo after learning that Trump intended to dismiss Comey.

“I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo,” Comey writes in his opening remark. “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.”

He goes on to detail some of the contents of “nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months – three in person and six on the phone.”

In one of these conversations, Comey claims Trump said of former national security adviser Michael Flynn: “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.”

The account ends with an April 11 phone call, in which Comey claims President Trump said “the cloud” of the Russia investigation was getting in the way of his ability to do his job, and asked what Comey had done “about his request that [Comey] ‘get out’ that he is not personally under investigation.”

Comey says April 11 was the last time the two of them spoke.

Read Comey’s statement in full by os-jcomey-060817.

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(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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