House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Cheffetz (R, UT-03) wrote a letter to the FBI giving it one week to turn over “memoranda, notes, summaries, [and] recordings” of James Comey’s that may detail President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn.
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As chairman, Chaffetz has the power to subpoena the documents if the agency does not cooperate.
The letter follows a lurid New York Times report that says Trump asked fired FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into Flynn who briefly served as national security adviser at the start of the Trump administration, saying "I hope you can let this go."
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The story, however, is a reported summary of a phone conversation conducted with FBI officials who have access to Comey's memos. The New York Times has not acquired the memos themselves; only other FBI officials have seen them.
Comey allegedly wrote the memo following a conversation with Trump on the day after Flynn resigned. The memos say Trump told Comey:
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
For now, the White House has denied the Times' report in its entirety. In a statement reported by Politico, the White House said:
“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. The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
Trump himself has not weighed in on the story to confirm or reverse the White House’s statement, as he has with this week’s revelation that he revealed sensitive intelligence to Russian diplomats.
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.
A friend of Comey's told Politico that there may be much, much more than just this memo, which they called "rich in detail." "There are other memos about his meetings too. He wrote down every word Trump said to him as soon as he could," the friend said.