Why Comey Documented His Trump Meetings: “I Was Honestly Concerned That He Might Lie”

”Lordy,” he added, ”I hope there are tapes.”

Alex Edelman/Zuma

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One of the key points to come out of former FBI Director James Comey’s written testimony submitted on Wednesday to the Senate intel committee was that Comey felt the need to contemporaneously document his interactions with President Donald Trump, beginning with his first meeting with him on January 6. In his questions to Comey during the committee’s hearing on Thursday, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked the former FBI director to elaborate on that point.

“What was it about [the January 6] meeting that led you to determine that you needed to start putting down a written record?” Warner asked.

Comey said it was based on the circumstances of the moment (he was alone with the then-president elect), the subject matter of that first conversation (touched on FBI responsibilities, as well as issues related to Trump himself), and “nature of the person” he was dealing with. 

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said Thursday. “That combination of things I’d never experienced before, but it led me to believe I’ve got to write it down, and I’ve got to write it down in a very detailed way.”

Watch the highlight below: 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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