Former FBI Director James Comey provided a window on Thursday into the ongoing threat that the wide-ranging investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn continues to pose for the Trump administration, suggesting that investigators could eventually attempt to cut a deal with Flynn.
“There is always a possibility if you have a criminal case against someone and you bring them in, squeeze them, flip them, [that] they give you information about something else,” Comey said during three hours of testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In his first detailed discussion about his interactions with President Trump, Comey made clear that Flynn had emerged as a key figure early in what he called a “complex investigation.” That ongoing effort, Comey said, serves as an important backdrop to what Comey said was a stunning Oval Office appeal from President Trump to “let Flynn go.”
“General Flynn at that point in time was in legal jeopardy,” Comey testified. “There was an open criminal investigation in connection with the Russian contacts.”
Comey testified that he considered the appeal, which was made in a one-on-one conversation after Trump asked other cabinet members to leave the room, to be a “direction,” one that he chose not to obey. Trump has denied pressuring Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn, but shortly after he fired Comey in May, he admitted that Russia was on his mind when he did so.
“I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct,” Comey said. “I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work to find out the intention and whether that’s an offense.”
In a statement following Comey’s testimony, Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, disputed Comey’s recollections of his conversations with the president, including their discussion of the Flynn investigation.
“The President never,…