In what is seemingly becoming a daily event, the New York Times has just dropped yet another anonymously sourced bombshell on the White House. The latest provocative headline implies that President Trump directly asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an ongoing investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting back in February shortly after Flynn was fired by the White House.
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.
Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, only replying: “I agree he is a good guy.”
This latest story allegedly comes from a memo that Comey wrote shortly after the meeting and is just part of a larger paper trail he created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. As the New York Times notes, an FBI agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
According the NYT, Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior FBI officials and close associates. The New York Times admitted it had not viewed a copy of the memo but portions of the letter were apparently read to a reporter covering the story.
It seems that Comey just outed himself as one of the leakers the White House was looking for.
I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community.....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
Meanwhile, in a statement, the White House denied the version of events as writing in the memo.
“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 statement 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 Mr. Comey.”
If Trump does have Oval Office recordings, as he suggested in the tweet below, now might be a good time to introduce them into the public record as it looks as though Comey just called his bluff.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017