According to an exclusive report from the New York Times this Tuesday, President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to halt the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and instead focus its resources on looking into leaks coming out of the White House.
Notes kept by Comey after his February 14 meeting with the President indicate that Trump asked him to drop the FBI’s probe of Flynn after the retired general resigned.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey according to the notes. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Comey reportedly did not respond to Trump’s request, only saying, “I agree he is a good guy.”
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.
The Times’ sources say the details of Comey’s notes were only shared with a small group of people in the FBI and Justice Department. Sources who read the notes say it was clear to Comey that Trump was trying to impede the investigation, leading Comey to conclude that the conversation was improper and needed to be documented. According to a statement issued by the White House, Comey’s version of events “is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
The revelation deepened the crisis enveloping the Trump administration in the wake of another bombshell report this Monday, revealing that Trump shared “highly classified” intelligence with Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office.
You can read the New York Times’ full report here.