Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
A polarizing figure, Comey garnered controversy for actions he took both before and after the 2016 election, eventually being fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
Here are five takeaways from Comey's testimony, including his views on why he was fired and his leaking of memos following his dismissal.
During his testimony, Comey mentioned his issues with how the Trump Administration portrayed the FBI following his dismissal.
"Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader," said Comey, as recorded by Politico.
"Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I'm so sorry that the American people were told them."
The Hill noted that "Comey has long been a staunch defender of FBI staff," adding that "One of the few times he's become heated when testifying before Congress was when the integrity of the bureau was questioned."
During the testimony, Senator Susan Collins asked Comey about the memos leaked after his firing which detailed conversations he had with President Donald Trump.
Comey acknowledged that he had "a close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school" leak his memos out to the public.
"I asked — the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape," said Comey.
"My judgement was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it."
Law Professor Jonathan Turley penned a column on his website asking aloud whether or not Comey's actions violated the law.
"Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information," wrote Turley.
"Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey 'any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.'"
Comey stated that he was confident that Russia had in some way attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election cycle.
Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., asked Comey's opinion about the Trump Administration's claim that no such interference happened, to which Comey replied that "there should be no fuzz on this whatsoever."
"The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government," stated Comey.
"It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It's not a close call. That happened. That's about as unfake as you can possibly get."
Senator Ron Wyden asked Comey about the details regarding the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the ongoing investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump Administration.
Comey responded that the FBI believed at the time that Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons."
"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an opening setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic," said Comey.
"So we were convinced — in fact, I think we'd already heard the career people were recommending that he recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia-related matters much longer. That turned out to be the case."
Talking Points Memo described Comey's comment about being unable to discuss the Sessions recusal as a "tantalizingly vague statement."
During his testimony, Comey mentioned having a "queasy feeling" over an order given by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch regarding the investigation into then Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's email server issues.
According to Comey, Lynch told him to refrain from calling it an "investigation" and instead to label it a "matter."
"She said yes, don't call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter. You look back in hindsight, if I looked back and said this isn't worth dying on so I just said the press is going to completely ignore it," said Comey.
"That's what happened when I said we opened a matter. They all reported the FBI has an investigation open. So that concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI's work and that's concerning."