Posted: 11:52 pm Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
A week after the President fired FBI Director James Comey, a top Republican in Congress asked the bureau to turn over memos that Comey reportedly wrote after conversations earlier this year with President Donald Trump, as the White House denied press reports that Mister Trump had pressed Comey to back off on an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“If true, these memoranda raise questions as to whether the President attempted to influence or impede the FBI’s investigation as it relates to Lt. Gen Flynn,” wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the head of the House Oversight Committee.
.@SpeakerRyan spox: "We need to have all the facts, and it is appropriate for the House Oversight Committee to request this memo."
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) May 17, 2017
“I need to see it sooner rather than later,” Chaffetz said of the Comey memo. “I have my subpoena pen ready.”
As Republicans asked for Comey’s evidence, there were bipartisan voices also calling for the former FBI Director to come before Congress and tell his story publicly.
“He should come back to the Congress and share what he knows of the President’s conversations with him, on any of the Russian investigation,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, as Republicans also joined in those calls.
“Of course Director Comey should testify,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the House GOP leadership team.
“It’s time for Comey to testify before Congress,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
These serious allegations effect our nat'l security & they carry very real consequences. It's time for Comey to testify before Congress.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) May 16, 2017
The impetus for lawmakers to hear from Comey came in the wake of a blockbuster New York Times story – which said that Comey had made notes after meetings with the President earlier this year, and that in one of those conversations, Mr. Trump had asked the FBI chief to end a probe of top aide, Michael Flynn.
On Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers again drew large groups of reporters seeking comment, just a day after dealing with a high profile story about whether the President had revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.
“It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell observed dryly.
“I think I’ve said enough for a few days, I really have,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who a day earlier had said the Trump White House was in a ‘downward spiral.’
BREAKING: AP source: Comey wrote in memo that President Donald Trump asked him to end FBI investigation into former aide Flynn.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 16, 2017
But while some Republicans were clearly frustrated by recent events that have overwhelmed the White House, other GOP lawmakers kept focused on the Trump Agenda.
Asked if he still had confidence in Mr. Trump, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), one of the President’s strongest allies in Congress, did not stammer.
“Oh, I certainly do,” Perdue said, just off the Senate floor. “Because he’s getting things done, like he said he would do.”
Perdue was one of the few GOP lawmakers active on social media Tuesday night, defending the President.
— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) May 17, 2017
For other GOP lawmakers though, the constant barrage of stories involving the Trump White House were taking a toll, as cracks showed among Republicans.
“We need the memos, Comey should testify and I still believe that a special prosecutor should be named,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).
“Congress needs to see the Comey memo,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.