Trump's lawyer says James Comey could now be investigated for leaks and suggests he lied under oath

Emily Shugerman
New York
Thursday 08 June 2017 19:12
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz speaks to members of the media at the National Press Club in Washington
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz speaks to members of the media at the National Press Club in Washington

Donald Trump's attorney has said former FBI Director James Comey could be investigated for leaking information, and suggested he may have lied in his sworn Senate testimony.

Responding to Mr Comey's appearance in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, attorney Marc Kasowitz denied key parts of the former intelligence official's account.

"The President never told Mr Comey 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,' in form or substance," Mr Kasowitz said in a statement.

This directly contradicts Mr Comey's sworn testimony that Mr Trump had "asked specifically of loyalty" in a private dinner between the two. In a written statement the day before, Mr Comey described in detail the meeting in which Mr Trump allegedly told him that he both needed and expected his FBI director's loyalty.

Mr Kasowtiz statement would seem to suggest Mr Comey was lying under oath when making his claim.

Mr Comey testified on Thursday regarding several of his interactions with Mr Trump. The pair's relationship came under scrutiny last month, when Mr Trump unexpectedly fired his FBI director and failed to provide a resolute reason.

It was later revealed that Mr Comey wrote detailed memos about his meetings with his former boss. In one of those memos, Mr Comey described a meeting in which Mr Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn. Mr Comey said he saw the request as an "order".

Mr Kasowitz, however, said Mr Trump "never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr Comey stop investigating anyone."

The Trump lawyer also took issue with Mr Comey's admission that he had revealed some of his memos to the press. Mr Comey on Thursday said he had told reporters about the Flynn meeting, in an effort to get a special counsel appointed in the Russia investigation.

Mr Kasowitz classified this as a "unauthorised disclosures" of "privileged information".

Mr Trump has vowed to crack down on those who leak information about his administration, claiming they pose a threat to national security. Just this week, the FBI arrested a young woman accused of leaking classified intelligence to an online publication.

The Trump administration has been subject to various embarrassing leaks, including Mr Comey's allegations that the President had asked him to drop the Flynn investigation. Prior to these allegations, Mr Trump as hit by the disclosure that he had revealed classified intelligence to Russian officials, and the allegation that he had demanded Mr Comey's loyalty.

Mr Kasowitz said he would leave it to relevant authorities to decide whether or not to investigate Mr Comey's disclosures further.

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