Then-FBI Director James Comey testified in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee during an slip conference on a FBI on Capitol Hill on May 3.
Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Updated during 9:10 p.m. ET
President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to tighten down a agency’s review into his former inhabitant confidence confidant Michael Flynn only one day after Flynn was let go.
An associate of Comey’s who is informed with a matter confirms that a former FBI executive memorialized a review with Trump in a memo he wrote immediately after their Oval Office review on Feb 14. The news was initial reported by a New York Times.
Comey — who was discharged one week ago by Trump amid a FBI review into Russian nosiness in a 2016 choosing and probable ties between a Trump debate and Russia — wrote in a Feb memo that Trump asked for a review of Flynn to go divided — to that Comey gave a non-response response. Then he left and wrote minute notes, according to a source.
“It was an ask” not a command, a source said. A tiny series of FBI agents were done wakeful of a memo and a conversation, and agents kept operative on a investigation.
A second Comey associate told NPR that Comey wrote records for his files after several conversations with Trump.
“He was concerned,” a second source said.
“‘I wish we can let this go,'” Trump told Comey of a Flynn investigation, a same source said.
Flynn was discharged on Feb 13 after it was suggested he had misled Vice President Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador to a U.S. Sergey Kislyak about U.S. sanctions recently imposed on Russia; Flynn had been vocalization with Kislyak during a transition duration between Election Day and Trump’s inauguration.
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was also discharged by Trump after she refused to urge his transport ban, testified final week before Congress that she had told a White House some-more than dual weeks before Flynn was asked to renounce that he had been “compromised with honour to a Russians” given he had misled Pence.
Last week, a Senate Intelligence Committee released a summons for Flynn’s “documents applicable to a Committee’s review into Russian division with a 2016 elections.”
Flynn has sought shield from a House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with his counsel observant in a matter in Mar that, “General Flynn positively has a story to tell, and he really most wants to tell it, should a resources permit.”
Comey’s bombshell criticism of a Feb review is a latest headache for a White House increasingly in turmoil. On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump had suggested “highly personal information” to dual tip Russian diplomats — Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — whom he met with in a Oval Office final Wednesday, a day after banishment Comey, in a intolerable arrangement of obscure optics.
And amid a effervescent crises, Trump is set to skip during a finish of a week on his initial unfamiliar outing as president, roving to a NATO assembly in Brussels, Belgium; a G7 assembly in Italy; Saudi Arabia; a Vatican; and Israel — a nation whose comprehension about an ISIS tract to use laptops on airplanes Trump reportedly breached custom by pity with a Russians.
A White House central denied The Times’ news about Trump’s review with Comey in a statement:
While a President has regularly voiced his perspective that General Flynn is a decent male who served and stable a country, a President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to finish any investigation, including any review involving General Flynn. The President has a pinnacle honour for a law coercion agencies, and all investigations. This is not a guileless or accurate description of a review between a President and Mr. Comey.
The FBI pronounced they have no criticism on a Times story.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over final week after Comey was fired, testified before a Senate Intelligence Committee final week that, “There has been no bid to block a review to date.”
Comey has a story of memorializing argumentative conversations and issues — he did so during a George W. Bush administration, where he served as emissary profession general, with honour to those argumentative “enhanced inquire techniques” used by a CIA on apprehension detainees in a arise of 9/11. He sent memos to his arch of staff that flush years after in The Times.
Trump discharged Comey final week, with a White House primarily claiming it was given of a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that resolved Comey had mishandled a review into Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
James Comey improved wish that there are no “tapes” of a conversations before he starts leaking to a press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
But Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt days after that he was going to glow Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s memo, and that is was, indeed, in part, given of a ongoing Russia investigation, that Trump has discharged as a “hoax.”
“When we motionless to only do it [fire Comey],” Trump told Holt. “I pronounced to myself, we said, we know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an forgive by a Democrats for carrying mislaid an choosing that they should have won.”
Trump also claimed in his minute banishment Comey that a FBI executive had told him on 3 apart occasions that he was not underneath investigation. He also tweeted on Friday suggesting he has tip recordings of his conversations with Comey, yet a White House has given regularly refused to endorse or repudiate either any such tapes indeed exist.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent a minute Tuesday dusk to McCabe requesting all “memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings referring or relating” to communications between Comey and Trump. Chaffetz set a deadline of no after than May 24 for a FBI to yield a materials to a committee.
“We need to have all a facts, and it is suitable for a House Oversight Committee to ask this memo,” House Speaker Paul Ryan’s mouthpiece AshLee Strong also pronounced in a statement.
Democrats immediately pounced on The Times’ news and called on their GOP colleagues to pull for a law from a White House.
“Concerns about a inhabitant security, a order of law, a autonomy of a nation’s top law coercion agencies are mounting,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pronounced on a Senate building shortly after a Times story broke. “The nation is being tested in rare ways. we contend to all of my colleagues in a Senate, story is watching.”
“If these reports are true, a President’s contemptuous try to close down a FBI’s review of Michael Flynn is an attack on a order of law that is elemental to a democracy. At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power. At worst, he has blocked justice,” pronounced House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement.
In response to a news of Comey’s memo, some-more House Republicans on Tuesday dusk called for a multiple of White House briefings and open testimony from a former FBI executive to cruise a range of a situation.
“I cruise Director Comey should attest before Congress as shortly as possible,” Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., a assuage lawmaker from a pitch district pronounced Tuesday evening.
When asked if he was endangered that Trump could harm his reelection prospects, Lance replied: “I’m assured that we paint a views of a strenuous infancy of my constituents.”
“Obviously, we wish a lecture from a White House,” pronounced House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., “I don’t know that it’s critical to have Comey testify, though it is critical to get to a bottom of it. We’ve got one customary and we need to make certain that relates to everybody.”
Meadows also told reporters that if memos exist, Congress should have entrance to them. “I only wish to know it better. It’s one thing to have to have a New York Times news it, it’s another to be means to demeanour during what it is,” he said.
The president’s loyalists on Capitol Hill echoed a White House’s attacks on a media to doubt a latest revelation.
“What seems overwhelmingly transparent to me is that a White House is besieged by a spectrum of a media dedicated to a distant left that is relentlessly committed to doing all they can to delegitimize this president. So that alone infrequently calls into doubt roughly all of these discussions,” pronounced Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
However, Franks also pronounced he would like Comey to testify. “I cruise it would be great,” he said, “I’m someone who has always believed in sunlight, and that clarity is a friend, and law is a best ally.”
As reporters huddled off a House building doubt GOP lawmakers about a Comey memos, another fixed Trump loyalist, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, walked by and entered a conveyor as he quipped: “Almost sounds like feign news.”
Overlooked in The Times report: Trump also reportedly told Comey that he “should cruise putting reporters in jail for edition personal information.”
Geoff Bennett contributed to this report.