"No collusion. No obstruction", Trump said Friday. So Trump fired him - and used the dismissal letter to put exactly the message he wanted on front pages everywhere.
But after Comey's testimony this morning, legal experts are split on whether he laid out a potential case for obstruction of justice during his Senate testimony.
"At this point, Comey is not a government employee, and he is not under the direction of the president, and so I don't see a legal or procedural bar", Aftergood said. Trump issued his warning online on May 12, three days after Comey was sacked and four days before the newspaper reported on the information in the memo, which was recounted by Comey associates.
When asked if he had covertly recorded his conversations with Comey, as Trump had suggested in a tweet shortly after firing Comey last month, the president was coy.
"He said: "I hope" [when he asked you to drop the Flynn investigation]", said Sen.
Ryan and other Republicans explained away Trump's interactions with Comey as the understandable blunders of a Washington neophyte.
"Any Republican member of Congress, you are going down with the ship".
If Comey's testimony is accurate and the president indeed attempted to influence the investigation into Flynn - who was sacked after the White House said he had misrepresented the nature of his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States - some say that may constitute an obstruction of justice. "He's being totally above board about it, and if anybody wants to say that's wrong, he is standing by his actions". Who would do that?. "I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel". "It doesn't make sense". "No I didn't say that".
"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump tweeted, "and WOW, Comey is a leaker!"
Trump had stayed unusually quiet on Thursday, refraining from weighing in on the testimony gripping the country both on Twitter and at several public appearances.
A spokesman for the Justice Department Inspector General declined to comment on the matter, which was first reported by Fox News and CNN.
To be sure, not all Republicans were so quick to dismiss Comey's testimony and the Russian Federation investigation.
Judges in Chicago affirm 'Making a Murderer' confession was coerced
Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were given life sentences for the 2005 murder and sexual assault of Teresa Halbach . The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in February as to whether Dassey's confession should stand.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the situation with Qatar in much more nuanced remarks to reporters, going so far as to criticize Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries for their "blockade" of the small nation, saying it was disrupting American businesses, families and "hindering USA military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS".
"His goal is to manipulate media, manipulate the press".
Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month, said he did so in hopes that the memos, which documented what the former director felt was inappropriate contact by the president amid the ongoing investigation, would prompt the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to take over the probe.
The president replied "100 percent" when asked if he would deliver such testimony under oath to give his side of the story - just as Comey did on Thursday to the Senate panel.
Comey then went farther, in effect daring the president to contradict him.
The Russia investigations have consumed the White House and distracted the president and lawmakers from his governing agenda. No official confirmation of this report has been issued as of this writing.
Burr said the committee would seek a closed session with those men "probably next week".
Trump answered reporters' questions with brevity.
In short, the American people were treated to the astonishing sight of a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director repeatedly calling the president of the United States a liar, including twice in the very first minutes of his testimony.
Comey was a compelling witness to the bullying behavior of this president.
Comey told the Senate of multiple conversations alone with the president, during which he said Trump pressed him to show "loyalty", to back off on the FBI investigation of aide Michael Flynn and to disclose that Trump himself was not under investigation as the FBI probed Russian interference in the election and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.