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It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. (James B. Comey, Jr.)

link: http://youtu.be/ou2RMywLYf8
The original video is the official version. The following is retyped from the uncorrected closed captioning from c-span and may contain errors. It has also been corrected in a few spots. For any official use, compare to the video:

SENATOR JACK REED Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you, Director Comey . There have been press reports that the president, in addition to asking to you drop the Flynn investigation has asked other senior intelligence officials to take steps which would tend to undermine the investigation into Russia. There are reports that he’s asked DNI Coats and Admiral Rogers to make public statements exonerating him or taking the pressure off of him. And also reports about Admiral Rogers and Director Pompeo to intervene and reach out to the FBI and to ask them. Are you aware of any of these or do you have any information with respect to any of these allegations?

James B. Comey Jr.
I don’t. I’m aware of the public reporting but I had no contact, no conversation with any of those leaders about that subject.

Jack Reed
Thank you. You have testified that you interpreted the discussion with the president about Flynn as a direction to stop the investigation. Is that correct?

James B. Comey Jr.

Jack Reed
You have testified that the president asked you to lift the cloud by essentially making public statements exonerating him and perhaps others. You refused, correct?

James B. Comey Jr.
I didn’t — I didn’t do it. I didn’t refuse the president. I told him we would see what we could do. The second time he called I told him in substance, that’s something your lawyer will have to take up with the Justice Department.

Jack Reed
And part of the underlying logic was we’ve discussed many times throughout this morning, is the duty to correct. That is one of — a theoretical issue but also a very practical issue. Was there, your feeling that the direction of the investigation could in fact include the president?

James B. Comey Jr.
Well, in theory. I mean as I explained the concern of one of my senior leader colleagues was if you’re looking at potential coordination between the campaign and Russia, the person at the head of the campaign is the candidate. So, logically , this person argued, the candidate’s knowledge, understanding, would logically become a part of your inquiry if it proceeds. I understood that argument. My view was that what I said to the president was accurate and fair and fair to him. I resisted the idea of publicly saying it – although if the Justice Department had wanted to, I would have done it – because of the duty to correct and the slippery slope problem.

Jack Reed
And again, also, you’ve testified that the president asked you repeatedly to be loyal to him and you responded you’d be honestly loyal, which is, I think, your way of saying I’ll be honest and I’ll be ahead of the FBI and independent, is that fair?

James B. Comey Jr.
Correct. I tried honest first. Also, I mean, you see it in my testimony . I also tried to explain to him why it’s in his interest and every president’s interest for the FBI to be apart in a way because its credibility is important to a president and to the country . And so I tried to hold the line, hold the line. It got very awkward. I then said you’ll always have honesty from me. He said honest loyalty. I acceded to that as a way to end this awkwardness.

Jack Reed

James B. Comey Jr.
There was an explanation, I just don’t buy it.

Jack Reed
Well, yes. So you’re fired. Do you believe that you were fired because you refused to take the president’s direction? Is that the ultimate reason?

James B. Comey Jr.
I don’t know for sure. I know I was fired. Again, take the president’s words. I know I was fired because of something about the way I was conducting the Russia investigation was in some way putting pressure on him, in some way irritating him. And he decided to fire me because of that. I can’t go farther than that.

Jack Reed
It, the Russian investigation as you have pointed out and as all my colleagues have reflected is one of the most serious hostile acts against this country in our history; undermining the very core of our democracy in our elections; is not a discrete event. It will likely occur [again]. It’s probably being prepared now for ’18 and ’20 and beyond. And yet the president of the United States fires you because in your own words, some relation to this investigation. And then he shows up in the Oval Office with the Russian foreign minister first after classifying you as crazy and a real nutjob, which I think you’ve effectively disproved this morning.

He said “I face great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off”. Your conclusion would be that the president, I would think, is downplaying the seriousness of this threat. In fact, took specific steps to stop a thorough investigation of the Russian influence and also from what you’ve said or what was said this morning, doesn’t seem particularly interested in these hostile threats by the Russians. Is that fair?

James B. Comey Jr.
I don’t know that I can agree to that level of detail. There’s no doubt, that it’s a fair judgment. It’s my judgment. It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.

That is a very big deal. Not just because it involves me. The nature of the FBI and the nature of its work requires that it not be the subject of political consideration. And on top of that, you have the Russia investigation itself is vital, because of the threat. And I know I should have said this earlier. It’s obvious. If any Americans were part of helping the Russians do that to us, that is a very big deal. And I’m confident if that is the case, Director Mueller will find that evidence.

Jack Reed
Finally, the president tweeted that James Comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversation before he starts leaking to the press. Was that a rather unsubtle attempt to intimidate you from testifying and intimidate anyone else who seriously crosses his path from doing it?

James B. Comey Jr.
I’m not going to sit here and try to interpret the president’s tweets. To me, its major impact occurred to me in the middle of the night: holy cow, there might be tapes. If there are tapes it’s not just my word against his on the direction to get rid of the Flynn investigation.

Jack Reed
Thank you very much.

Original with uncorrected closed captioning here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?429381-1/former-fbi-director-comey-say-president-obstructed-justice
Disclaimer: Note that our text may contain errors, though not as many as another transcript published by at least one news organization. Ours is based on C-span closed captioning but has been corrected in a few spots. For any official use, compare to the video. In short, use at your own risk. Watch the video if you can. There should eventually be an official transcript – probably in the Congressional Record.

Related: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/trump-tells-russians-that-firing-fbi-director-comey-took-pressure-off-trump-disses-comey-in-white-house-meeting-nyt-trump-illegally-shared-intell-with-russia-at-same-meeting-from-which-us-media-e/

Indeed Donald Trump is listed as President of his campaign:
Current Principal Place of Business:
Current Mailing Address:
DOCUMENT# F16000000006
FEI Number: 47-3609578

In March then FBI director Comey stated:
I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. Because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election


Senator Reed appears kin to Joseph Reed secretary and aide-de-camp to George Washington during the American Revolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Reed_(politician)