Comey understands why President Trump's lawyers are reluctant to let Trump be interviewed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III
“You'd have to be very thoughtful about that,” Comey said when The Post's Carol D. Leonnig asked him to imagine himself as the president's attorney. The problem, Comey said, is that Trump “lies a lot.”
“That doesn't mean you don't do it,” Comey added. “I actually believe, as an American, it's very important that the president cooperate with an appropriate, lawful, disciplined federal investigation that touches on things of which he has material knowledge. But you'd have to, as the lawyer, be very thoughtful about that and prepare your client to understand that this one you cannot BS your way through; you must tell the truth.”
Speaking of Giuliani, Comey says “the love is gone”
As a young prosecutor, Comey worked for Giuliani. In his book, Comey recounted the admiration he felt for “the great man.” Leonnig read aloud a passage from “A Higher Loyalty” and asked Comey to provide an update of his sentiments.
“I have a different sense of it than in 1987,” Comey said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
After Giuliani referred last week to FBI agents who raided the office, home and hotel room of Trump attorney Michael Cohen as “stormtroopers,” Comey criticized the remark on Twitter.
I know the New York FBI. There are no “stormtroopers” there; just a group of people devoted to the rule of law and the truth. Our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to Nazis.— James Comey (@Comey) May 3, 2018
Giuliani then told The Post in an interview that Comey is “a sensitive little baby.”
“My view of him as a leader changed over time,” Comey said of Giuliani on Tuesday. “And the name-calling and whatnot? I don't know what's going on with that, honestly. I said to someone the other day, ‘I guess the love is gone.’ I used to be one of his star prosecutors. It appears I'm not anymore.”
Comey disagrees with a federal judge's view of the Mueller probe
In a speech to members of the National Rifle Association on Friday, Trump gleefully quoted T.S. Ellis III, the federal judge in Virginia who is presiding over a financial-crimes case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“You really care about wanting information you could get from Mr. Manafort that would relate to Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever,” Ellis told a prosecutor during a hearing on Friday.
Comey said Tuesday, in response: “I guess I find that very, very, very hard to believe. And I don't know how a federal judge could possibly know enough about an investigation, given that federal judges aren't involved in investigations at all, to offer a view like that.”
Comey added that pressuring Manafort to reveal what he knows about Trump does not invalidate the charges against Manafort.
“There's all kinds of goals — and they're not inconsistent — in criminal investigation and prosecution,” Comey said. “You obviously want to bring wrongdoers to account, but if possible — let's say you’re working a corporate fraud case. You want to get the chief financial officer, if he's been involved in criminal wrongdoing, but you also would like to know what the truth is, from him, about others in the company. And so they're not inconsistent goals. And I would hope every prosecutor, when they prosecute a defendant, wants to know, ‘Does he know things that could bring other people to account?’ ”