Trump asked Comey to shut down Flynn investigation

Trump asked Comey to close Flynn probe -NY Times, citing Comey memo
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Author

17 May, 2017

The existence of the memo was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times.

Flynn's resignation came hours after it was reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House weeks earlier that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak before Trump took power on January 20.

If the new report about ordering Comey to stop investigating Flynn is true, then both that request and firing Comey for not obeying it (if that was indeed Trump's motivation) arguably constitute obstruction of justice. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey".

"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn".

In dismissing Comey last week, Trump created the very real possibility that a respected law enforcement official known for an outspoken nature and willingness to buck political convention could resurface in public.

Comey, appointed director in 2013 by former President Barack Obama, replied to Trump's "good guy" remark by saying, "I agree he is a good guy", according to the paper.

Comey, appointed as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013 by President Barack Obama, spoke often about his desire to be as transparent as possible about Federal Bureau of Investigation actions and about proving to the public that his agency was independent, competent and thorough.

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Trump told Comey that Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo. In 2007, he told Congress about a now-famous showdown with senior White House officials over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program.

Several Democrats said the allegation, if verified, amounted to obstruction of justice, a crime that was among the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon.

An unnamed source also told CNN Comey was "so appalled by the request that he wanted to document it".

The Washington Post also confirmed the Times' report, saying that Comey "kept detailed notes of his multiple conversations with Trump", according to people close to the matter. "We need an independent special prosecutor NOW". After that meeting, the Times reported that Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Comey.

The acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, told the Senate last week that "there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date".

Despite Trump's plea to the ex-FBI director, the probe into Flynn's ties to Russian Federation continued. But Trump's suggestion last week that he was keeping tapes has made them wonder whether there are tapes that back up Comey's account.


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