UPDATE | Read Comey's Senate statement here
Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (James B. Comey)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey will say in his opening statement to a congressional hearing that President Donald Trump told him, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty" during a January dinner, according to documents released a day ahead of his planned testimony.
DOCUMENT: Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee Thursday. His prepared statement was released this afternoon.
In the statement, Comey said he and Trump dined together privately in January. During the meal, he said Trump asked him if he wanted to remain on as FBI director. Comey said he replied he wanted to serve out his 10-year term and "was not on anybody's side politically."
Comey said Trump then made his statement about loyalty. Comey replied that he could offer his honesty, and that when Trump said he wanted "honest loyalty," Comey answered, Comey paused and said, "You will get that from me."
That revelation and others are contained in written testimony Comey submitted Wednesday ahead of his appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
They confirm some of what has already been reported publicly in the media. But the information has not previously come directly and publicly from Comey.
In the document entitled "Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence," Comey says it was “very concerning” when President Trump asked him to back off an investigation of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
Comey describes the exchange in dramatic detail in written testimony ahead of an appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
He says Trump asked him to stay behind in the Oval Office after a meeting with a larger group, and as they stood near a grandfather clock, Trump described Flynn as a good guy who’d been through a lot.
Then the president said to Comey: “I hope you can let this go.”
Comey said that he immediately prepared a memo documenting the February exchange. And the investigation continued.
Trump fired Comey in May.