Throughout his testimony, and in prepared remarks, the ousted FBI director detailed a conversation he had with the President in February about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign.
“When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn,”’ Comey wrote about his interaction. “He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.'”
On Thursday, some Republican lawmakers tried to defend the President by emphasizing the word “hope” and saying Trump did not explicitly state that he wanted Comey to drop the probe.
But Harris, a former California attorney general, did not buy this explanation.
“In my experience of prosecuting cases,” Harris said during the hearing, “when a robber held a gun to somebody’s head and said, ‘I hope you will give me your wallet,’ the word ‘hope’ was not the most operative word at that moment.”
The freshman lawmaker also pushed Comey about whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions was inappropriately involved in the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, though he did not answer most of her questions. Like many of the questions he fielded throughout the three-hour testimony, Comeysaid he could not answer them in an open session.
Harris also recently found herself in the spotlight this week when Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr admonished and tried to silence her on Wednesday during a hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Harris did not allow her colleagues to silence her, and continued her questioning, prompting Sen. Elizabeth Warren to tweet a message of support.