Take a few minutes and read James Comey's opening statement, as released by the Senate Intelligence Committee moments ago.
A few highlights. Page 3 is where he describes his diinner at the White House with Trump. Trump asked him on several occasions for loyalty, at one point telling him, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty."
On page 4, he describes the meeting in the White House where everyone was asked to leave except for Comey, where Trump pressured him about Flynn. Check the detail in this one!
When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, "I want to talk about Mike Flynn." Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn't done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify.
The President then made a long series of comments about the problem with leaks of classified information -- a concern I shared and still share. After he had spoken for a few minutes about leaks, Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him. The President waved at him to close the door, saying he would be done shortly. The door closed.
It makes it sound like everyone at that briefing had their ears to the door, doesn't it? Well, there were a few who did, apparently. Here's the way Comey wraps up that occasion.
I then got up and left out the door by the grandfather clock, making my way through the large group of people waiting there, including Mr. Priebus and the Vice President.
The timing of this statement is important. The committee published this statement ahead of the closed session with the Intelligence Committee this afternoon. By firing Comey, Trump gave up any right to claim executive privilege with regard to his testimony as well as the others.
Read the whole statement ahead of tomorrow's committee hearing. We will be covering that here live. If there is a live stream, we'll carry that too.
Update: The former U.S. Attorney, fired by Trump:
Benjamin Wittes, editor of the Lawfare Blog, calls it "the most shocking single document compiled about the official conduct of the public duties of any President since the release of the Watergate tapes."