Former FBI Director James Comey asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prevent him from being alone in a room with President Trump, CBS News’ Andy Triay reports.
This was confirmed to CBS News by an individual familiar with what Comey told associates after Mr. Trump asked him to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The story was first reported by the New York Times.
Comey wanted Sessions to intercede with the White House to prevent the president from speaking with the FBI director alone and also to head off what he thought were inappropriate requests from Mr. Trump.
Comey wrote about Mr. Trump’s request in at least one memo that the FBI has not yet released.
Comey did not disclose to Sessions that Mr. Trump had requested that he end the investigation into Flynn, the Times reported, and Comey didn’t tell a single official at the Justice Department about his conversation with Mr. Trump, sharing the conversation only with his closest advisers.
Comey will testify about his conversations with the president and about the Russia investigation on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He’s certain to be asked about these conversations, as well as why, while he was FBI director, he didn’t tell anyone that Mr. Trump had asked him to end the Flynn investigation.
Mr. Trump’s remarks about his conversations with Comey differ. He claims that Comey told him on three occasions, once in person and twice over the phone, that he was not the subject of an investigation. This was also a point Mr. Trump made in the letter terminating Comey as FBI director.
The federal Russia investigation is now in the hands of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, whose office has coordinated with Comey’s about his upcoming testimony. The Intel Committee’s chairman, Senator Richard Burr, says that Mueller has not restricted Comey from talking about anything before the panel, although his memos at this point will not be given to the committee, the Times also reported. The files remain at the FBI.