Comey: Russia investigation initially looked at 4 Americans

While it was uncertain if Comey spoke under oath Friday, lying to Congress is a crime under any circumstance. Here's some tidbits to chew on.

"Not that I can possibly see", Comey said.

Comey was interviewed as part of the Republican-led investigation into FBI's investigations into Clinton and Trump and Russian Federation in 2016. "The FBI, in late July, opened counterintelligence investigations of four Americans to see if they were working in any way with the Russians to influence our elections", Comey said.

Comey added, in regard to the probe into Clinton's email practices, that "anybody that thinks we were on Team Clinton, trying to cut her a break, is smoking something".

Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who penned a dossier of raw intelligence detailing Trump campaign officials' links to Russian Federation, did come up during Comey's Friday interview. Throughout the "interview", Comey said "I don't know" 167 times and "I don't remember" 71 times, according to a 235-page transcript.

Comey was asked, for example, why he'd compared Trump to a mafia boss in his book "A Higher Loyalty". The Russia investigation is now being run by special counsel Robert Mueller, and Comey largely dodged questions connected to that probe - including whether his May 2017 firing by Trump constituted obstruction of justice.


He also reiterated to lawmakers that it was encounter in 2016 that Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had with aRussian intermediary in London that ignited the Russian Federation investigation, rather than - as Trump and some Republicans have argued - the so-called Steele dossier, a file of opposition reseach compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by a law fim that did work for the Democratic National Committee. "I recall saying the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing", Comey testified, as he summed up by saying of Flynn, "There's no doubt he was lying".

Comey's lawyers, one of whom is from the U.S. Department of Justice, is telling him not to answer "a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation", Issa said.

Comey agreed to submit to the deposition before the House oversight committee in a deal settling his legal challenge of a subpoena in exchange for the public release of the full transcript of his testimony.

He reiterated that the investigation was not prompted by a Democratically funded opposition research - often referred to as the "Steele dossier" - but rather contacts former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had with an intermediary during the campaign, a finding confirmed by House Republicans. One refrain from President Trump is that Mueller can't be trusted with his probe because he and Comey are friends.

Rep. Matt Gaetz blasted James Comey for having "selective amnesia" during his closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. So, Democrats asked Comey - are you friends with Mueller?

'I admire the heck out of the man, but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names, ' Comey said. "I would bet my life that Bob Mueller will do things the right way, the way we would all want, whether we're Republicans or Democrats, the way Americans should want", Comey said.


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