Did Trump Ask FBI to End Investigation Into Flynn?
- Author: Leroy Wright May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 17:05
Q: What was Comey's response to Trump?
"If these reports are true, the President's brazen attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
Republicans, caught off-guard, insisted they wanted to hear from Comey, who was sacked last week a day before Trump met in the Oval Office with the Russian diplomats.
President Donald Trump asked the FBI to drop its probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and urged former FBI Director James Comey instead to pursue reporters in leak cases, according to associates of Comey who have seen private notes he wrote recounting the conversation.
The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee says he plans to demand that the Justice Department turn over all memos written by former FBI Director James Comey concerning his past meetings with President Donald Trump.
The person had seen the memo but was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The White House has however rejected the new allegations.
Trump is scheduled to visit Israel next week - a trip that White House officials indicated would still go ahead.
News Tuesday of Trump's request of Comey immediately renewed concerns from congressional Democrats that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation that's been examining potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. "Following shortly on the heels of the President's admission that he raised his own potential liability at a dinner with the Director and at a time when the Director was concerned about keeping his job, the allegations paint an alarming portrait of a President potentially interfering with, or worse, obstructing, the progress of the Russian Federation investigation". "If there were ever a final nail on the case for an independent, special prosecutor this is it", said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Reactions ranged from officials on both sides of the aisle, political commentators, academics and of course journalists.
Reaction to the Times' report was swift, with House Speake Paul Ryan and other Republican members of Congress expressing unease and calling for Comey's immediate testimony.
"We're not on anybody's side, ever", he said in a March speech. "We're not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortunes will be helped by this or that - we just don't care and we can't care".
As FBI director, he was accustomed to hours-long oversight hearings before Congress covering a wide range of topics.
The person says the objective of the memos was to keep a record of encounters Comey found odd or troubling.
Comey was abruptly fired May 9 and learned of the dismissal as he was giving a talk in Los Angeles.
Trump abruptly fired Comey last week, saying he did so based on his very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
The conversation described in the notes raises new questions about whether Trump may have crossed any legal lines into criminal behavior by pressuring the FBI to end an investigation.
Donald Trump has been embroiled in a controversy following a pair of media reports accusing him of trying to quash an FBI investigation against his former NSA James Flynn, and disclosing highly classified information to Russian Federation.
Comey's memo, an apparent effort to create a paper trail of his contacts with the White House, would be the clearest evidence to date that the president has tried to influence the investigation. "I hope you can let this go", the president had said and went on to tell Comey that Flynn had done nothing wrong.
The White House says that while the president has repeatedly expressed his view that Flynn is a "decent man", he has never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigations involving him.