Why Comey Documented His Trump Meetings: “I Was Honestly Concerned That He Might Lie”

”Lordy,” he added, ”I hope there are tapes.”

Alex Edelman/Zuma

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One of the key points to come out of former FBI Director James Comey’s written testimony submitted on Wednesday to the Senate intel committee was that Comey felt the need to contemporaneously document his interactions with President Donald Trump, beginning with his first meeting with him on January 6. In his questions to Comey during the committee’s hearing on Thursday, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked the former FBI director to elaborate on that point.

“What was it about [the January 6] meeting that led you to determine that you needed to start putting down a written record?” Warner asked.

Comey said it was based on the circumstances of the moment (he was alone with the then-president elect), the subject matter of that first conversation (touched on FBI responsibilities, as well as issues related to Trump himself), and “nature of the person” he was dealing with. 

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said Thursday. “That combination of things I’d never experienced before, but it led me to believe I’ve got to write it down, and I’ve got to write it down in a very detailed way.”

Watch the highlight below: 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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