President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.
Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
- Memo written by fired FBI Director James Comey after February 14 meeting with Donald Trump describes the president asking him to drop his Mike Flynn probe
- The White House denies the claim, saying it’s ‘not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation’
- Comey’s memo also described a Trump request to prosecute and jail reporters who report on classified information leaked to them
- Just five days ago Trump warned Comey that he might have ‘tapes’ of their conversations
- Now it’s Comey on the offense, with his associates reading portions of his explosive memo to a New York Times reporter
- Sen. Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor that he was ‘shaken’ by the news and Rep. Nancy Pelosi raised the possibility of ‘obstruction of justice’
- The federal law against obstruction is purposely broad and could form the basis for an impeachment case against Trump
Former FBI director James Comey accused President Donald Trump of asking him to close a federal investigation into disgraced general Mike Flynn during a February 14 meeting in the Oval Office.
‘I hope you can let this go,’ Trump told Comey, according to a copy of a memo read to a New York Times reporter.
Comey reportedly wrote the memo immediately after he met with Trump, as part of an effort to document situations in which the president sought to interfere in the FBI’s operations.
The White House quickly fired back, claiming in a statement that ‘the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn.’
On Tuesday night, Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, fired off a letter to the acting FBI director Andrew McCabe requesting to see ‘all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings’ between Comey and Trump by May 24.
‘Are we getting closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment?’’
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is leading the charge, bringing up impeachment three separate times Tuesday evening alone.
During an interview with Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) about a New York Times report alleging Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the agency’s investigation into General Michael Flynn, Blitzer asked hopefully, “Are we getting closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment?”
Blitzer also flatly told Sen. King that if the Times’ report is accurate, it’s “an impeachable offense,” not even phrasing the statement as a question.
Moments later, Blitzer asked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) if the New York Times report would provide enough ammunition for impeachment proceedings against Trump. “Is that impeachable if it is an obstruction of justice?” Blitzer asked.