by Itunuoluwa Adebo
The White House continues to struggle with the ghost of James Comey, as a shocking new report said a memo written by the former FBI chief claimed President Trump once asked him to shut down the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The White House immediately rejected the report, as Democrats seized on it as potential proof of “obstruction” of justice. According to New York Times, the memo quoted Trump as saying he hoped Comey could “let this go” with regard to Flynn. Comey was said to have written the memo shortly after an Oval Office meeting on Feb. 14, which was the day after Flynn resigned from the Trump administration.
The memo was presented as the clearest evidence that the President tried to influence the Justice Department and FBI probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and alleged links to Trump’s associates. “The President has never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” an official said. “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 Comey.”
Trump reportedly 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.”According to the Times, Comey wrote in the memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong. But Comey did not say anything to Trump about limiting the investigation, replying, “I agree he is a good guy.”
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe also testified last week on Capitol Hill that there “has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.” The FBI had no official comment on the Times report Tuesday.
The Justice Department also declined to comment on the New York Times report, on the existence of the Comey memo, or whether there was any such conversation between Trump and Comey. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, said in a statement that Trump’s request “appears to cross the line into … obstruction of justice” and called for the appointment of a special prosecutor.