Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Comey Memo Claims Trump Tried to Shut Down Flynn Probe

 

Another day, another bombshell Trump story dropped at 5 pm ET, this time 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.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

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.

As Comey leaks like a sieve, the decision to fire him seems wiser than ever. But the fact that the Times didn’t even see memo is raising eyebrows:

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.”

The House Oversight Committee is curious about this memo.

What do you think, Ricochetti: is this fake news, a minor Trump gaffe, or grounds for impeachment?

There are 61 comments.

  1. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    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.

    Unnamed “officials” and unnamed “associates” reading unverified memos that the reporter didn’t even see.

    Isn’t Buzzfeed getting sued for that sort of thing?

    • #1
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    . . . and the beat goes on, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh . . .

    • #2
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:20 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Profile Photo Member

    Is this the DailyKos?

    • #3
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:22 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    BD1 (View Comment):
    Is this the DailyKos?

    Sure seems like it lately.

    • #4
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:23 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  5. Miffed White Male Member

    “I hope you can let this go” (not even “I want you to let this go”) the day after Flynn was fired? Pretty thin gruel for “obstruction of justice”

    • #5
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  6. JcTPatriot Inactive

    The President did not order Comey to stand down. He saw what he considered a good guy being dragged through the mud by horrible people trying to come up with something, anything, on the “Russian Interference” hoax started by Robbie Mook almost a year ago. Everyone has been investigating the hoax for six months now, and still no proof, no evidence, not even a wisp of smoke. Everyone knows it, including the Editors of Ricochet, but their hatred of our President is so strong, they will grasp anything to try to bring him down, even throwing around the word “impeachment” to try to bolster their belief in the Hoax.

    It is shameful, disgusting, and totally beneath them to act this way. I am starting to think the temper-tantrum will last the entire 8 years of the Trump Presidency.

    • #6
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:28 PM PST
    • 23 likes
  7. Steve C. Member

    Ricochet Editors' Desk: “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

    And?

    Another mole hill.

    • #7
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:30 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  8. Doug Kimball Member

    Since we don’t know exactly what Flynn said to the Russians, nor whether an actual crime was committed, my reaction is, meh. As long as Trump didn’t threaten Comey, who cares? Of course the media will spin this like Trump demanded that Comey stand down, even though it is the AGs office that controls the decision to continue or curtail an investigation as facts unfold.

    If the charges against Flynn turn out to be nominal (rise to a level higher than Obama’s stupid open mike moment with the Russian envoy “tell Vllad I can be more flexible after the election”) then getting Comey to stop (read: give Flynn the same treatment as Hillary with the server scandal) would have saved Trump further scandal and a pardon.

    Comey has big cojones. In the end, I don’t think this they will serve him well.

    • #8
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:31 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    One of the things going on, I think, is this sense among the political class that they are so very, very important and irreplaceable. The best and the brightest! And that’s why they work in government! And so when they’ve been replaced or are in the process of being replaced or are soon to be replaced, they lash out in the only way they can. LEAKS! LIES! PERJURY! Because, you see, they know they’re above the law.

    What we in the citizen class have painfully understood is that anyone can be replaced. Unemployment over the last decade has taught us that. Whereas we’ve watched while the political class commits actual crimes and keep their jobs or are allowed to retire to a job in the media with that golden parachute provided by Uncle Sam.

    So we’re sitting out here still trying to deal with the mess Obama and the Democrats have left behind. Meanwhile in Washington they’re playing all these stupid little power games that we’re supposed to care about.

    We don’t. We want the mess cleaned up. And your stupid little power games are wasting time and energy that is better spent FIXING THE [email protected] COUNTRY.

    • #9
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:42 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  10. Roosevelt Guck Member

    This is what happens when someone tries to drain the swamp. Keep it up, Trump! The GOP needs to defend Trump.

    I’m also waiting for the inevitable: the backlash against the Democrats for selling phony scandals to the public.

    I’m also waiting for one piece of evidence.

    • #10
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:42 PM PST
    • 22 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Justin Hertog (View Comment):
    This is what happens when someone tries to drain the swamp. Keep it up, Trump!

    Yes. I think that’s kind of what I was getting at above. You said it more concisely.

    • #11
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  12. Fritz Member

    It appears there was no attempt to get a reaction from Comey before the NY fishwrapper ran with the claim. Kinda think that’d be an important step, no?

    Also, the continuous use of unnamed, anonymous sources is really getting old.

    But as we all remember from the days of Tip O’Neill, it’s not the evidence nor lack of it that counts, it’s the seriousness of the charge.

    • #12
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:48 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  13. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Fake news.

    • #13
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:56 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Fred Cole Member

    BD1 (View Comment):
    Is this the DailyKos?

    I’m not sure I catch your meaning.

    • #14
    • May 16, 2017, at 5:57 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Something something something fake news something something lamestream media something not Hillary.

    • #15
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. formerlawprof Coolidge

    Yikes. Doesn’t it sort of depend upon whether it’s true or not?

    If true, how could it possibly be a molehill? (We’ve had 15 comments so far, and not a single one contains the words Loretta or Lynch or Phoenix or Airplane.)

    Sure; maybe everybody except the President is lying. But we can’t dismiss something like this on that basis–because maybe others are not lying.

    • #16
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. formerlawprof Coolidge

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    The President did not order Comey to stand down.

    You usually get things right, @jctpatriot, but the above doesn’t scan. Does anyone imagine that Bill Clinton “ordered” Loretta Lynch to stand down?

    Of course not. Didn’t have to.

    • #17
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Joe P Member

    Ricochet Editors' Desk: As Comey leaks like a sieve, the decision to fire him seems wiser than ever. But the fact that the Times didn’t even see memo is raising eyebrows

    See, that’s part of the plan.

    First “a source close to Comey” (read: Comey) “reads the memo over the phone” to news outlets. Which naturally raises the questions of:

    • Who is the source?
    • Where is this memo?
    • Is this memo even real?
    • What does the memo actually say?
    • What other memos did Comey write?

    The natural thing to do is to try to answer these questions. They’re compelling enough that you can’t just wave them off as fake news. I mean, you can… but… if it was totally fake, it would be easy to find out, because there would be no memo. Or nobody who would say that they wrote the memo. And the guy who wrote the memo was unexpectedly made available to talk very freely, so, the natural thing to do is to ask the guy whether he wrote the memo. Or even better, just ask the FBI for the memo. It either exists, or it doesn’t, so Congress can subpoena it and collapse its wave function to one of those two states.

    Unlike the intel story, which we can only determine what happened based upon people in the room at the time have to say, there exists an externally verifiable thing which can be tested to validate the story. Not the story of what Trump and Comey said, this news story asserting the existence of a memo. So if you’re a Congressman, your only real option is to ask to see this memo and ask Comey if he wrote it. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, doesn’t matter if you think Trump is a Russian stooge or an American patriot. If you think the story is fake, you have to ask to see the memo to kill the story. If you think the story is real, you have to ask to see the memo to prove the story is real and to find out what other interesting memos Comey wrote.

    Spoiler alert: There are other interesting memos that Comey wrote. They could be real, or they could be James Comey’s fan-fiction that he wrote about himself, but it doesn’t matter. The reason to start playing this game is to reveal all of these memos and what they say, so that we eventually have a moment in which James Comey testifies publicly before Congress, to talk all about Big Bad Donald Trump. The key here, is “testify publicly.” The Intel Committee asked him to testify privately about his firing, and it was widely reported that he declined the invitation; what was not as widely reported was that he also said he was happy to testify in front of Congress publicly.

    It will get worse for Trump before it gets better. Buckle up.

    • #18
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:41 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Rocket Surgeon Coolidge

    Seems to fit @andrewklavan‘s recent podcast

    • #19
    • May 16, 2017, at 7:18 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Mollie Hemingway Contributor

    Fritz (View Comment):
    It appears there was no attempt to get a reaction from Comey before the NY fishwrapper ran with the claim. Kinda think that’d be an important step, no?

    Oh there was reaction from Comey in that story. The entire story was reaction from Comey!

    • #20
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:02 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  21. Michael C. Lukehart Thatcher

    Short version: I don’t believe it.

    • #21
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:06 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Paula Lynn Johnson Inactive

    NY Times: “An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.”

    As Ann Althouse notes, this should have read “admissible evidence.” Credible is another issue, as is double hearsay.

    I guess this story gives them an excuse not to report on Seth Rich.

    • #22
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    I don’t care. The Russia thing is BS. There is no evidence for it. You can add all of the sinister music, lighting, and sound effects you want, but it’s still a nothing burger.

    • #23
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:26 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  24. JcTPatriot Inactive

    formerlawprof (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    The President did not order Comey to stand down.

    You usually get things right, @jctpatriot, but the above doesn’t scan. Does anyone imagine that Bill Clinton “ordered” Loretta Lynch to stand down?

    Of course not. Didn’t have to.

    It is a big “if”, but IF the memo was real, then it proves my point. If Trump wanted him to stand down, he would have pulled him in the office and said “back off or else” and that’s it; you wouldn’t have seen it in writing. I base what I said on what was said to be – in writing – on the memo, and that’s very different from two people meeting on an airplane, one a civilian and one a government employee, with nothing to record their conversation. I am free to speculate all I want about what happened on that airplane, just like my speculation about the 45-minute plane ride Obama took with Dennis Kucinich the day before Kucinich “decided” to vote for Obamacare.

    Thanks for the complement, by the way!

    • #24
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:28 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. JcTPatriot Inactive

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    I don’t care. The Russia thing is BS. There is no evidence for it. You can add all of the sinister music, lighting, and sound effects you want, but it’s still a nothing burger.

    You are correct. After all this time, 180 days and counting, there is still no evidence. None. They can call 300 million people in to testify and it doesn’t mean anything at all; although some NeverTrumpers seem to think asking people questions means they are guilty of something.

    • #25
    • May 16, 2017, at 8:32 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  26. mdd Inactive
    mdd

    The article indicated that Comey’s habit was to make notes on important conversations. Would love to see his comments on meetings with select members of the prior administration.

    • #26
    • May 16, 2017, at 10:48 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  27. Chris Member

    I’m with NR’s David French and others in believing there is, in French’s words, no good outcome. Any way it works out, the stink of The Swamp is strong.

    • #27
    • May 16, 2017, at 11:49 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  28. Joe P Member

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    I don’t care. The Russia thing is BS. There is no evidence for it. You can add all of the sinister music, lighting, and sound effects you want, but it’s still a nothing burger.

    You are correct. After all this time, 180 days and counting, there is still no evidence. None. They can call 300 million people in to testify and it doesn’t mean anything at all; although some NeverTrumpers seem to think asking people questions means they are guilty of something.

    I agree with you JcT, that there’s nothing here proving whatever fever dreams the Democrats have about Trump and Russia. If there was something here, the “memo read over the phone” by “Comey’s associate” would have had a hint of the damning evidence so everyone could cut straight to the chase.

    But, nobody would pull off a highly orchestrated move like this if there wasn’t more of something in that memo pile, or something that James Comey could say in front of Congress that he couldn’t say before that’s going to be embarrassing. It’s all basically James Comey saying “Please subpoena me, Senator Chaffetz.”

    • #28
    • May 17, 2017, at 2:28 AM PST
    • Like
  29. JcTPatriot Inactive

    Too bad it isn’t just the Democrats acting this stupidly.

    • #29
    • May 17, 2017, at 4:26 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  30. Guruforhire Member

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    I don’t care. The Russia thing is BS. There is no evidence for it. You can add all of the sinister music, lighting, and sound effects you want, but it’s still a nothing burger.

    There is no smoke, there is no fire. Claims of smoke is just gaslighting.

    • #30
    • May 17, 2017, at 4:51 AM PST
    • 3 likes