WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee:

“Director Comey’s testimony painted a profoundly disturbing portrait of President Trump and this administration.

“Director Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the administration made statements about his firing that were ‘lies, plain and simple.’ He said that he had felt compelled to take detailed notes on all of his interactions with the President specifically because he was concerned the President would not tell the truth about those interactions.

“Additionally, Director Comey confirmed that President Trump had directly asked him for ‘loyalty’—a completely inappropriate request—and that President Trump had pressured him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.

“It is notable that Director Comey presented his rendition of facts with great confidence, and said of the possible existence of tapes of his conversations with President Trump, ‘I hope there are tapes.’ 

“President Trump may want the ‘cloud’ that is hanging over him to go away, but instead, this cloud seems to be growing darker every day. The special counsel’s investigation remains critically important, and we must follow the facts wherever they lead.”