In the latest debacle that is the presidency of Donald Trump, the ex-FBI chief says that the Commander in Chief asked him to, in essence, obstruct justice.
James Comey, who was fired by President Trump last week, said that during a meeting at the Oval Office in February, the president asked him to shut down the federal investigation into Michael Flynn, reports the New York Times.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Comey, according to a memo Comey wrote the day after the meeting. Trump also told Comey, “[Flynn] is a good guy.”
The fallout has already begun. The Times reports,
“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.”
Comey, a seasoned intelligence vet, wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after meeting with him, leaving a paper trail documenting what many view as improper influence on an ongoing investigation. The Times reports that Comey has kept such records after conversations he felt could be called into question later for years.
Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, resigned after a month into the job, when it came out that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his dealings with Soviet ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
In a statement, the White House denied the version of events in the memo.