Former FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to describe the bureau's inquiry into Hillary Clinton's private email server a "matter", and not an investigation.
Comey refused to say whether Trump's alleged subtle threatening of Comey's job, outlined in his prepared opening statement, and the president's request that the FBI drop its investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn constituted obstruction of justice.
"You look back in hindsight, you think, 'Should I have resisted harder?' I said this isn't a hill worth dying on".
Comey's comments on the Clinton email investigation in July 2016, as the presidential election campaign was well underway, drew criticism from Republicans at the time.
"It's my judgment that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", he said. Said the president: "When I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said, "You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won".
Kasowitz then took aim at Comey's admission that he ordered his friend, a professor at Columbia law school, to provide information to the press on memos he kept on his private conversations with Trump because he felt the investigation may have reached the point at which a special counsel needed to be appointed. After Clinton and Lynch met as their planes were on the same tarmac, Comey said he decided he had to "protect the credibility of the investigation". I think you've been cast as a hero or a villain depending on the - whose political ox is being gored at many different times during the course of the Clinton e-mail investigation, and even - even now, perhaps.
"I do not believe there is" any evidence that that president obstructed justice, Cornyn told reporters, referring to the questions Sen.
"I'm a little confused, Senator", was Comey's response.
Complicating things somewhat is the fact that in late October - much to Clinton's chagrin - Comey announced that the investigation into her email server was re-opening after a new batch of emails had been discovered on a computer belonging to Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide, and her husband at the time Anthony Weiner.
Comey again tried to explain that he discussed the findings of the Clinton investigation only after it was completed.
McCain added: "While I missed an opportunity in today's hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record".