Sen. Risch Grills Comey On Meaning of the Word 'Hope'

Posted: Jun 08, 2017 11:25 AM

Sen. James Risch questioned former FBI Director James Comey Thursday, focusing on President Trump’s statement that he hoped for a certain outcome with regard to the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to Comey’s notes. “He is a good guy.  I hope you can let this go.” 

“Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice, or for that matter any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?” Risch asked.

“I don’t know well enough to answer,” Comey replied. “And the reason I keep saying his words is, I took it as a direction. I mean this is the president of the United States with me alone saying ‘I hope this,’ I took it as this is what he wants me to do.”

“You may have taken it as a direction but that’s not what he said,” Risch shot back.

“Correct,” Comey replied.

“He said, I hope,” Risch responded. “You don’t know of anyone that’s ever been charged for hoping something. Is that a fair statement?”

“I don’t as I sit here,” Comey answered.