Facebook Twitter Comments Slate Plus

FBI Deputy Director Testifies Comey Told Him of Trump’s Loyalty Demand Shortly After January Dinner

Ousted FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Ousted FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, CNN reports, told the House Intelligence Committee that former FBI Director James Comey informed him of his conversations earlier this year with President Trump shortly after they occurred, a revelation that could play a key role in the building of an obstruction of justice case against the president. At the heart of the matter is a Jan. 27th dinner at the White House where the then-FBI director says Trump told him: “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.”

Later, in February, Comey says Trump asked him to go easy on former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn during an Oval Office meeting. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” By May, however, Trump had fired Comey and denied asking Comey, who was at the time overseeing the investigation into Russia’s election meddling and the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow, to pledge his loyalty. Comey also recounted that Trump asked him he wanted to keep his job, which concerned the FBI director that president was trying to establish “some sort of patronage relationship.”

“The testimony suggests McCabe could corroborate Comey’s account, including Trump’s ask that Comey show him loyalty, which the President has strongly disputed,” CNN reports. “Comey previously testified that he briefed some of his senior colleagues at the FBI about this conversation with Trump.” Comey also wrote contemporaneous memos of his interactions with Trump; an FBI agent’s contemporaneous are widely admissible in court as credible evidence.

One more thing

You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.

Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.

Join Slate Plus