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Memo: Trump Asked Comey to End Flynn Investigation

Posted by on May. 16, 2017 at 6:02 PM
  • 147 Replies
2 moms liked this

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/james-comey-trump-flynn-russia-investigation.html?_r=0

Photo
James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this month.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence 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.

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 a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times reporter.

Continue reading the main story

“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.”

GRAPHIC

The Events That Led Up to Comey’s Firing, and How the White House’s Story Changed

New disclosures on Tuesday allege that in February, President Trump asked James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to shut down an investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

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.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events 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.”

In testimony to the Senate last week, the acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, said, “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

Mr. McCabe was referring to the broad investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The investigation into Mr. Flynn is separate.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.

Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey last week. Trump administration officials have provided multiple, conflicting accounts of the reasoning behind Mr. Comey’s dismissal. Mr. Trump said in a television interview that one of the reasons was because he believed “this Russia thing” was a “made-up story.”

The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job after it was revealed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of phone conversations he had had with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Despite the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, the investigation of Mr. Flynn has proceeded. In Virginia, a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records related to Mr. Flynn. Part of the Flynn investigation is centered on his financial ties to Russia and Turkey.

Mr. Comey had been in the Oval Office that day with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing. When the meeting ended, Mr. Trump told those present — including Mr. Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions — to leave the room except for Mr. Comey.

Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.

Mr. Trump then turned the discussion to Mr. Flynn.

After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Mr. Comey shared it with senior F.B.I. officials. Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump’s comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.

Mr. Comey was known among his closest advisers to document conversations that he believed would later be called into question, according to two former confidants, who said Mr. Comey was uncomfortable at times with his relationship with Mr. Trump.

Five Contradictions in the White House’s Story About Comey’s Firing

The Trump administration has offered conflicting answers about how and why the F.B.I. director, James Comey, was fired.

Mr. Comey’s recollection has been bolstered in the past by F.B.I. notes. In 2007, he told Congress about a now-famous showdown with senior White House officials over the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. The White House disputed Mr. Comey’s account, but the F.B.I. director at the time, Robert S. Mueller III, kept notes that backed up Mr. Comey’s story.

The White House has repeatedly crossed lines that other administrations have been reluctant to cross when discussing politically charged criminal investigations. Mr. Trump has disparaged the continuing F.B.I. investigation as a hoax and called for an inquiry into his political rivals. His representatives have taken the unusual step of declaring no need for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s associates.

The Oval Office meeting occurred a little more than two weeks after Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Comey to the White House for a lengthy, one-on-one dinner at the residence. At that dinner, on Jan. 27, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey at least two times for a pledge of loyalty — which Mr. Comey declined, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Mr. Trump said that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

After the meeting, Mr. Comey’s associates did not believe there was any way to corroborate Mr. Trump’s statements. But Mr. Trump’s suggestion last week that he was keeping tapes has made them wonder whether there are tapes that back up Mr. Comey’s account.

The Jan. 27 dinner came a day after White House officials learned that Mr. Flynn had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak. On Jan. 26, Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told the White House counsel about the interview, and said Mr. Flynn could be subject to blackmail by the Russians because they knew he had lied about the content of the calls.

by on May. 16, 2017 at 6:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ReadWriteLuv
by Khaleesi on May. 16, 2017 at 6:04 PM
8 moms liked this

You just beat me to it, I was just about to post this. 

Is anyone suprised? I'm not.

romalove
by Roma on May. 16, 2017 at 6:05 PM
9 moms liked this

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

White House denies the memo

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

Memo is said to be contemporaneous to when the discussion happened

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

Trump threatens there's "tapes"

White House refuses to further elaborate

drip drip drip drip 

drip drip drip drip

One thought:  it's probably not a good idea to piss off the intelligence agencies.

romalove
by Roma on May. 16, 2017 at 6:06 PM
9 moms liked this

I'm watching MSNBC while I'm working.

Schiff is now talking.  Things are going to get real, real fast.

Trump may decide never to come back from overseas lol.

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

You just beat me to it, I was just about to post this. 

Is anyone suprised? I'm not.


UnoDuoTres
by Gold Member on May. 16, 2017 at 6:06 PM
3 moms liked this

Well.... there's documentary evidence of obstruction of justice

romalove
by Roma on May. 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM
4 moms liked this

I think things are going to go downhill very fast from this point.

I think Trump has pissed off the intelligence agencies, and there are going to be more leaks than a sieve.

Quoting UnoDuoTres:

Well.... there's documentary evidence of obstruction of justice


lancet98
by Gold Member on May. 16, 2017 at 6:10 PM
3 moms liked this


The evidence will be reviewed and presented to a senate investigation.

With a Republican-controlled senate, it may not go well.  

Schiff says they'll ask Comey to come in and testify.

In another matter in 2007, Comey was taken to task for his 'diary' of events, but in fact, his diary turned out to be EXACTLY what had happened and was fully corroborated.

Comey, to me, isn't a perfect fellow, but he is honest.  "To a fault", as people say.  In other words he'd rather tell the truth than keep his job.

Quoting UnoDuoTres:

Well.... there's documentary evidence of obstruction of justice


LauraKW
by "Dude!" on May. 16, 2017 at 6:20 PM
8 moms liked this
Paper trail, thank God someone had some sense.
12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on May. 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM
5 moms liked this

Don't you all get tired of getting your hopes up only to be disappointed when it turns up nothing? 

If this indeed happen and that's a big if since it can't be proven unless Comey can produce those tapes, why did Comey sit on this information? Also if Comey didn't go along with TRUMP and this was back in February why did TRUMP wait so long to fire Comeny? 

This looks more and more like a nothingburger once again. But don't let me stop the liberal hyperventilating, its good entertainment, almost as good as the night Hillary lost the election...laughing

lancet98
by Gold Member on May. 16, 2017 at 6:31 PM
5 moms liked this



There's more.  The senate investigative committee has been requesting information on Flynn since MARCH.  The White House has refused to provide even ONE PIECE of documentation requested by the committee.

That would also be obstruction.

As would telling him to end the investigation.

AS WOULD FIRING COMEY.

And as one senator said, the president has not always been honest with us - Comey has.  And such notes, like his documentation, have already been used in court as evidence.

FURTHER, Trump told Comey A NUMBER of things that made him uncomfortable.  And all along, he has been giving records of these things to people, both IN the FBI AND OUTSIDE THE FBI.

He made absolutely sure his records would not be destroyed.

AND NOW YOU SEE WHY COMEY WAS FIRED THE WAY HE WAS FIRED...so his records could be destroyed, so he could not get back to his office and get his records.  

In other words, Comey was prepared.

PREPARED.

AND...the ONLY reason Comey refused to testify THIS WEEK, was this week, the testimony was to be PRIVATE.

He said that he will ONLY testify PUBLICLY.  

When this first happened was back when Flynn resigned, that's when Trump told Comey to drop the investigation.  So CLEARLY, he was FIRED because he asked for more staff/resources for the investigation.

Of course the White House denied all of this.

But Comey was asked to 'pledge loyalty' to Trump back in January.  He said he could not promise unconditional loyalty, but he could promise - honesty.

Quoting romalove:

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

White House denies the memo

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

Memo is said to be contemporaneous to when the discussion happened

drip drip drip drip

drip drip drip drip

Trump threatens there's "tapes"

White House refuses to further elaborate

drip drip drip drip 

drip drip drip drip

One thought:  it's probably not a good idea to piss off the intelligence agencies.


Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 16, 2017 at 6:31 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting UnoDuoTres:

Well.... there's documentary evidence of obstruction of justice

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

This is why you do not elect a neophyte to the highest position in the world, particularly, one of Trump's character.

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