Last Thursday, the former FBI director James Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee. On the much-awaited testimony, Comey stated that Trump fired him because of the FBI investigation on Russia and the Trump administration. Comey's testimony only fueled the idea that Trump is obstructing justice.
According to Comey, "I am convinced I was fired because of the way I was proceeding with the Russia investigation." Comey also added, "For Trump, I was irritating him, I was putting a lot of pressure on him, and for that, I was fired."
Comey then added, "There is no doubt in my mind that my judgment is fair - that I was removed from my position because of the Trump administration and Russia investigation. I was removed from the position to change the course of the investigation. This is a serious matter, and not just because I got fired. The nature of how the FBI works means that the department should not be subject to any political consideration."
While in front of the committee, Comey's opening remarks stated that he was confused and became more and more "concerned" with Trump's comments a couple of days after he was fired. According to Comey, Trump's comments seem to point out that he was relieved of the pressure that the FBI's investigation brought to him.
Shortly after the firing of Comey, Trump admitted that he dismissed Comey because of the "Russia thing." Trump also added that the department was in "turmoil" and it needed a new director. Trump said that he was planning to fire Comey even if it went against the recommendation of Jeff Sessions, the acting Attorney General, and Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General.
Comey also testified about his interaction with Trump on January 27. After a dinner party, Trump asked Comey for his "loyalty." Questions have been raised if such statements are already enough to be considered as obstruction of justice.
According to some experts, Comey's testimony and the written remarks absolutely strengthen the case for Trump's obstruction of justice. This is according to a report published by Business Insider.
Comey also testified on February 14 at the Oval Office. According to Comey, he received verbal and written "comment" from Trump to drop the investigation about Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser, in relation to a possible collusion with the Russian ambassador. Trump's administration tried to soften the blow by stating that it was not an instruction, but it was a "hope" from Trump’s part that Comey would take that direction.
Comey added, "He took it as it is. This is what Trump wants me to do." When Comey was asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein to elaborate, Comey responded by saying that the context of Trump's words led him to that kind of conclusion.
While Comey is making his testimony, Trump did not stay silent. He claimed that he recorded his conversations with Comey. It is as if Trump was saying “I have proof of my innocence via recording.” Comey responded that if Trump has a recording, it won't hurt his feelings and he gives permission for it to be released.