WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney has denied allegations made by fired FBI Director James Comey during a Senate hearing, including that the president directed Comey to stop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Attorney Marc Kasowitz’s comments on June 8 also accused Comey of "unauthorized disclosures" of "privileged communications" he had with the president.
Kasowitz’s remarks were released in a statement before a briefing with reporters and following Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Despite sharply criticizing Comey, Kasowitz said the fired FBI director’s testimony established that Trump was not being investigated for colluding with Russia or attempting to obstruct an FBI probe.
Kasowitz said Trump "never, in form or substance" directed Comey to halt a probe into Flynn, who was being investigated for his contacts with Russian officials before Trump’s January 20 inauguration.
Kasowitz also denied that Trump told Comey, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty," as Comey claimed.
Trump fired Comey on May 9, claiming the Justice Department had been critical of his job performance.
Comey pushed back against those claims, asserting that Trump had lied.
"The administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey said.
Comey also said he asked a friend to share with the media the contents of memos he had written about his conversations with Trump, saying he thought the move would lead to the naming of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Kasowitz suggested that Comey could be prosecuted for the release of "privileged information."
"Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified," Kasowitz said.
"We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leak should be investigated along with all those others being investigated," he added.
Trump has hired Kasowitz to handle matters related to various investigations of Russian interference in the U.S. president election, freeing his White House counsel to handle other government-related matters.
With reporting by AP, dpa, Reuters, and AFP