President Donald Trump asked former FBI Chief James Comey to stop his agency’s investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The request allegedly arrived just one day after Flynn resigned from his post.
“I hope you can let this go,” Mr Trump reportedly told Mr Comey after a White House meeting in February. The President’s message was delivered by memo to the ex-FBI director.
In a statement the White House outright denied the report:
“The president has never asked Mr Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” it said.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about conversations he held with Russia’s ambassador before Trump took office.
Following his decision to fire Comey, the president came under fire by all sides for an obvious attempt to thwart the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US election and any Moscow ties to Trump associates.
After his meeting with President Trump on February 14, Comey reportedly wrote a memo in which he revealed that he could not comply with Trump’s request to end the investigation into Flynn’s illegal actions.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” the president told Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy.”
Instead of responding to the President’s request, Comey only responded, “I agree he is a good guy.”
Adam Schiff, the highest ranked Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said such intervention by Trump would amounted to “interference or obstruction of the investigation”.
Some Republicans, including Senator John McCain, have called the scandal an issue of “Watergate size and scale.”
If rank and file Republicans finally distance themselves further from President Trump, the Oval Office will be a very lonely place while the President awaits his impeachment.
Flynn’s Russian ties are still under investigation by the FBI and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. His investigation is part of a larger concern that the Trump administration worked with Russian officials to hack U.S. polling places to sway the U.S. election.
David Gergen, who has advised several presidents, said, “I think we’re in impeachment territory now.”
With the Republicans controlling the House and Senate, it may be some time before Trump actually faces impeachment.
The longer the GOP waits, the more their control of Congress is likely to erode as we head into the 2018 mid-term election season.
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