James Comey Reportedly Told Trump He Wasn’t Under Investigation

by Cate Carrejo
Eric Thayer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

According to the Associated Press, former FBI Director James Comey told President Trump he wasn't under investigation, and is set to testify as much to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday. This testimony will corroborate Trump's earlier claims, in violation of the FBI's policy about informing individuals about criminal investigations. However, though he did break department policy, Comey's testimony does not reveal any criminal activity on his part.

The AP tweeted a copy of Comey's prepared statement for testimony on Wednesday afternoon, which revealed the bombshell that Comey broke department policy and told Trump that he was not under investigation. "I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump," reads the statement. "I did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change."

Comey's testimony is sure to shock many intelligence community members, who refuted the idea that the former director would have violated procedure by telling the president about the status of any investigation, existent or nonexistent. “That is literally farcical,” said one of Comey's associates told The Wall Street Journal regarding Trump's claims.

Comey's motivation for breaking with his agency's protocol is also a point of contention. The FBI director is supposed to be a politically neutral, and Comey was already under fire for reopening the Hillary Clinton email investigation at the 11th hour of the election. He doesn't appear to have any real allegiance to Trump, which Comey also reiterates in his testimony, so it's unclear as to why he chose to make this potentially damaging decision that served to help Trump.

This is an interesting and somewhat confusing part of the whole mystery surrounding the Russia investigation, but ultimately, it doesn't matter much that Comey divulged this information to Trump. Comey's still out of the top position at the FBI, so his impropriety can't get him in trouble at his former job. The question of how this fits into the larger narrative of Trump's presidency is still to be determined, but more information could come out soon, as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence continues its fact finding mission.