Former FBI Director James Comey released his statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence a day ahead of his much-awaited Thursday testimony. He confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the investigation on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey also said that Trump was not under investigation for ties to the Russian government which the president appreciates because he feels vindicated. Lawyer Marc Kasowitz said in a statement that Trump is pleased that the former FBI director publicly confirmed his private reports that Trump was not being investigated in any Russian probe, the New York Post reported.

Russian efforts to interfere in elections

Comey, in his first meeting with Trump on Jan. 6, told the incoming president about the intelligence community's assessment that there were efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections. Media was on the verge of reporting it, so the FBI informed him to minimize a potential embarrassment to the president-elect.

At a dinner on Jan. 27 when Trump was already president, Comey felt the billionaire wanted to create some sort of a patronage relationship when Trump asked him if he wanted to stay on his job. Trump demanded his loyalty, but at the end of the dinner, Comey told the president it is important for the FBI and Department of Justice to be independent of the president.

When Trump reiterated he wanted loyalty from Comey, the FBI director replied he would give the president honesty, according to The Washington Post. It was at the Feb. 17 meeting at the Oval Office when Trump asked him to drop the investigation on Flynn, whom the president described as a good man.

Trump confirms Flynn talked to Russians

The president started the topic by saying Flynn did not do anything wrong in speaking with the Russians. He later claimed he fired Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence. Comey, after he left the Oval Office, wrote an unclassified memo about Flynn and discussed it with senior FBI officials.

Comey said he did not intend to abide by Trump’s request.

Comey received a call from Trump on May 30. The president described the Russian investigation as a cloud that impaired his ability as president. Trump reiterated he had nothing to do with Russia, was not involved with Russian prostitutes, and assumed he was recorded by intelligence agencies when he was in Moscow. The president pushed the FBI director to get the fact out that the agency was not investigating him for Russian connections.