The Jury Talks Back

5/16/2017

NYT Reports On F.B.I. Memo: “I Hope You Can Let This Go”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From the New York Times:

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.

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.

“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. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, only replying: “I agree he is a good guy.”

(Questions: If the memo is unclassified, why wouldn’t the Times be allowed to see it? Was it offered, did they decline? More importantly, why wouldn’t the Times demand to see it to confirm its existence? And why wouldn’t the F.B.I. officials want the paper of record to view it to corroborate the F.B.I.’s version? Wouldn’t that only lend credence to their story, given that there were only two people in the room at the time – Comey and Trump? Moreover, if we are uncomfortable with media relying on anonymous sources, shouldn’t we be even more so when the issue involves an unseen memo of significant importance? Someone enlighten me.)

The White House released a statement pushing back on the report:

“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.”

But hey, maybe President Trump will release the tapes to which he has eluded, and if they do exist, perhaps they would bring some clarity to the matter, and either back up Comey’s memo or the President’s denial.

–Dana

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