Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday said that he has invited former FBI Director James Comey to testify publicly at a Senate hearing following reports that President Trump asked him to move past FBI investigations into Michael Flynn.
“I’ve asked Comey to come before the Judiciary Committee to tell his side of the story,” Graham said, according to Politico. “I think it would be good for him if he did. It would be good for the country.”
The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Trump asked Comey in February to end the federal investigation into Flynn, his former national security adviser, who was fired for misrepresenting his interactions with Russian officials.
Comey wrote in a memo shortly after the Feb. 14 meeting that Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” the report said.
The huddle took place one day after Flynn’s resignation, according to the Times, which reported that Comey’s memo was part of an effort to create a paper trail due to what he saw as Trump’s improper influence over the investigation.
The White House on Tuesday denied the memo’s version of events, telling reporters, “this is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
Administration officials also stressed that acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told lawmakers last week that “there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”
Comey declined an invitation to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Tuesday, but is reportedly open to public hearing.
It was unclear if Graham's Comey invitation was to the entire Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, or the subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, which he chairs and has jurisdiction over the FBI.
The Trump administration is scrambling to halt the fallout from Trump's unexpected firing of Comey last week — as well as revelations that the commander in chief revealed highly classified intelligence last week to Russia's ambassador and foreign minister when they visited the Oval Office.
Comey’s ouster has stirred strong controversy, coming as it did during the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, including possible tries between Russia and Trump’s campaign.