The Latest: McCain compares Trump crises to Watergate
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on one-time FBI Director James Comey’s memo stating that President Donald Trump asked him to shut down an FBI investigation into ousted adviser Michael Flynn (all times EDT):
Sen. John McCain says the latest revelations out of the Trump White House are “at a point where it’s of Watergate size and scale.”
The Arizona Republican says, “We’ve seen this movie before.” He spoke Tuesday night at a dinner where he was receiving the International Republican Institute’s Freedom Award.
“The shoes continue to drop, and every couple days there’s a new aspect,” McCain said in comments reported by the Daily Beast.
McCain says Trump needs to “get it all out ... and the longer you delay, the longer it’s going to last.”
McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, also calls it “unacceptable” for Trump to invite Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov into the Oval Office last week, calling him a “stooge.” Trump disclosed classified information in that meeting.
An associate of James Comey says the former FBI director documented conversations he had with President Donald Trump in several memos.
The person says the purpose of the memos was to keep a record of encounters Comey found odd or troubling.
The associate, who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity, says Comey is willing to testify about his experience with Trump but wants to do so in public.
The associate is also confirming an account from The New York Times that Trump vented about media leaks during a conversation with Comey and expressed his support for seeing reporters in prison. The associate has also confirmed that Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to leave the room before discussing Flynn.
— By Eric Tucker
The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee is requesting that the FBI turn over all documents and recordings that detail communications between former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says in a letter to the FBI that he’s making the request to determine whether the president attempted to influence or impede the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Chaffetz’s letter comes just hours after the disclosure that Comey drafted a memo that detailed how Trump had asked him to shut down the Flynn investigation. Chaffetz’s letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requests all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings that relate to any communications between Comey and the president.
The letter gives the FBI a week to produce the records.
Some Republicans are voicing support for President Donald Trump following a report that the president asked James Comey to stop an FBI investigation.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, says he wants to see more details, but he believes “this is another example of whatever Trump does gets the worst possible spin.”
Farenthold says Comey would have been duty-bound to report to the Justice Department any command to stop the investigation.
He says there’s a difference between ”‘Hey, Flynn’s a good guy, it would be nice if you cut him a break’ as opposed to ‘I’m the president. Quit investigating, damn it.’”
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., says he too wants more details, but he also notes that Trump’s standing with South Carolina Republicans has “actually grown.”
Democrats on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees are calling for a joint investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his top aides are perpetrating an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice by interfering in FBI and congressional investigations.
All 33 Democrats on the two committees made the call in a joint letter Tuesday that seeks an immediate public hearing with FBI Director James Comey. The letter was released just hours after it was disclosed that Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had asked him to shut down a federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Democrats say that they believe Trump and his administration have shown of a pattern of obstructing the investigations looking into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia to affect the 2016 election.
The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee says he plans to demand that the Justice Department turn over all memos written by former FBI Director James Comey concerning his past meetings with President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, tells The Associated Press he is taking action because of a memo Comey wrote detailing how Trump asked him to shut down a federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Chaffetz says the memo raises concerns “about improper interference placed on an active investigation.”
He says he has ordered staffers to draft a letter to Justice Department officials seeking Comey’s memos. The letter is expected Tuesday night.
Chaffetz says he will use the authority of a congressional subpoena if necessary.
The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee says he will seek copies of any memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote about his meetings with President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in a tweet that he has his “subpoena pen ready.” The move by Chaffetz comes just hours after the disclosure that Comey wrote in a memo that Trump asked him to shut down a federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says “history is watching” and “the country is being tested in unprecedented ways” in the wake of a New York Times story that says President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to call off an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Schumer said in a brief, somber floor speech Tuesday that he was “shaken” by the report that Trump asked Comey “to shut down an active investigation into a close political associate.”
Schumer has been urging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to name a special counsel to investigate Russian interference into last year’s campaign and ties between Russian and Trump associates, including Flynn.
A person familiar with the situation says FBI Director James Comey wrote in a memo after a meeting with President Donald Trump that Trump had asked him to shut down an FBI investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The person had seen the memo but was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. The existence of the memo was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times, which said it was drafted after a February meeting in the Oval Office.
The FBI declined to comment Tuesday. The White House denied that Trump had made that request of Comey.
— By Eric Tucker
The White House is disputing a report that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The New York Times says Trump made the request to Comey during a February meeting. The newspaper cites a memo Comey wrote following the meeting.
Trump fired Comey last week.
The White House says the report is “not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.” The White House says that while the president has repeatedly expressed his view that Flynn is a “decent man,” he has never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigations involving him.
Flynn was fired after misleading top White House officials about his contacts with Russia.