Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr paul manafort...
Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr

Things seem to be quickly spiraling out of control for the Trump White House. This afternoon’s breaking news? Donald Trump specifically asked now-fired FBI Director James Comey to shut down his investigation into former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.

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 an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations. […]

“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. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.

The meeting in question, which was at the White House, was about two weeks after Trump allegedly requested Comey’s “loyalty” during a dinner conversation.

That Donald Trump specifically requested the investigation into Flynn’s Russia ties be “let go” is, obviously, incendiary. It demonstrates a specific attempt to obstruct justice. And let’s not forget it pairs with a Trump campaign trail insistence that his opponent be charged with crimes—despite the FBI concluding the opposite.

Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

For Comey to create a memo specifically documenting what he thought to be “improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation” is, again, absolutely incendiary. There’s no way Comey can avoid testifying before Congress now.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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