Following is the full text of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony as prepared for delivery to the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey is scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Thursday as part of the committee's investigation into US intelligence agency allegations that Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion by President Donald Trump's campaign. Russia has denied the allegations and Trump denies any collusion.
The committee posted Comey's opening statement on its website on Wednesday:
"Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe for you my interactions with President-Elect and President Trump on subjects that I understand are of interest to you. I have not included every detail from my conversations with the President, but, to the best of my recollection, I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the Committee.
January 6 Briefing
"I first met then-President-Elect Trump on Friday, January 6 in a conference room at Trump Tower in New York. I was there with other Intelligence Community (IC) leaders to brief him and his new national security team on the findings of an IC assessment concerning Russian efforts to interfere in the election. At the conclusion of that briefing, I remained alone with the President-Elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information
"The Director of National Intelligence asked that I personally do this portion of the briefing because I was staying in my position and because the material implicated the FBI's counter-intelligence responsibilities. We also agreed I would do it alone to minimise potential embarrassment to the President-Elect. Although we agreed it made sense for me to do the briefing, the FBI's leadership and I were concerned that the briefing might create a situation where a new President came into office uncertain about whether the FBI was conducting a counter-intelligence investigation of his personal conduct.