The Rachel Maddow Show believes it obtained a copy of the handwritten notes taken by a Department of Justice official last year during a critical phone call with then-FBI director James Comey in which he relayed how Donald Trump was pressuring him on the Russia investigation. Those notes from Dana Boente, the DOJ official then overseeing the Russia investigation, appear to directly corroborate Comey’s version of events. They also might be just the beginning of a series of contemporaneous notes taken by Boente and other officials that would serve as crucial evidence in any obstruction of justice case against Trump.
The call between Comey and Boente, then Acting Deputy Attorney General, took place on March 30, 2017, just after Comey had gotten off the phone with Trump.
In Comey’s testimony from June 2017 (written and oral), he said that Trump described the Russia probe as “a cloud” hanging over his presidency and he told Sen. Dianne Feinstein: “I think what [Trump] meant by the cloud — and, again, I could be wrong — but the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on what I want to focus on.” Comey added that Trump asked what he could do to “lift the cloud” and also asked him to help get the word out that the FBI wasn’t investigating him personally. “The ask was to get it out that I, the president, am not personally under investigation,” Comey testified.
Now here’s the screenshots from Maddow of the notes believed to be taken by Boente:
It’s worth noting here that Comey’s book tour starts next week and this may be just the first of many revelations that trickle out during his tour.