Former FBI Director James Comey will be forthcoming when he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning, but he will stop short of saying President Donald Trump tried to interfere in the agency's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to an ABC News exclusive.
Citing "a source familiar with Comey's thinking," the network reported there would be information that would make Trump feel "uncomfortable," but the former FBI director would not go so far as to say the president obstructed justice by asking him to drop the agency's probe.
Comey will also counter Trump's contention he told him three times he was not under investigation in the FBI's examination of claims Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
"He is not going to Congress to make accusations about the President's intent, instead he's there to share his concerns," the source said.
Comey would, however, tell lawmakers "what made him uneasy" and why he felt the need to document their conversation in a memo afterward.
Citing "sources close to Comey who reviewed it," ABC News said the memo contained notes from a February meeting where Trump told him, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go." That exchange made him uncomfortable enough to write the notes of the meeting, but the former FBI chief told associates he felt it would not prevent him from continuing the investigation.
ABC News said they had not seen the memo, but some legal experts said a request of that wording could meet the legal definition of obstruction of justice.
When Trump fired Comey last month, he wrote him a letter stating, "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
The report said Comey would not corroborate that claim.
Comey associates have said on principle he would never have offered assurances the president mentioned. Thursday's hearing will be the first time Comey will testify publicly since being fired.
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