The high ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff said that James Comey’s written account of President Donald Trump’s actions was “certainly evidence of interference or obstruction”, The Hill reports.
Schiff made the comments at a Washington Post ‘Securing Tomorrow’ event Wednesday evening, a day before former FBI head James Comey’s highly anticipated testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey’s seven-page opening statement confirms many of the allegations about Trumplevied by the press since Comey’s firing, including the President’s asking for “loyalty” and pushing Comey to halt investigations into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
“It confirmed some of our worst fears”,Schiff said.
On Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers testified at the Senate Intelligence Committee, and both refused to answer whether Trump had asked them to halt the FBI investigation. The intelligence leaders were pressed by senators, who noted that executive privilege had not been invoked and that their requests would not expose classified secrets, which are the only reasons that Coats and Rogers could rightfully decline to testify.
Schiff said he had spoken to Rogers after the Senate testimony to express that he felt the testimony was unacceptable.
“Plainly the reason they refused was to avoid embarrassment to the White House, perhaps to maintain their employment. My guess is that the White House wanted them to say nothing, but didn’t want to leave their executive privilege fingerprints on it”, he added.
Schiff gave qualified praise to new CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who he said was largely doing and saying the right things, but suggested he might be “trying to keep his head down and out of the orbit of the president in this nonsense.”