The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday requested the FBI turn over former Director James Comey's memo's documenting conversations with President Trump, joining a number of panels seeking the memos.
The panel requested additional documents from the Justice Department and the FBI related to the bureau’s ongoing investigation into Russian election interference, including “relevant documents related to the dismissal of Mr. Comey as FBI Director or memorializing conversations between the President and Mr. Comey,” committee leaders said in a statement Thursday.
Comey’s memos — which reportedly detail a request from Trump to “let go” of the bureau’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn — are in hot demand by multiple committees on the Hill.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say the details, if true, would represent a concerning example of political interference in the bureau’s investigation. The FBI’s probe includes examining whether any Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to help swing the election in Trump’s favor.
The Department of Justice threw a curveball into the mix late Wednesday with the announcement that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel on the Russia investigation, taking it over from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
But the committee’s Thursday statement suggests that Mueller’s appointment will do little to cool the demand on Capitol Hill for both the memos and a testimony from Comey about his dismissal.
Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House Jan. 6 panel to pursue criminal contempt referral for Bannon Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE (D-Calif.), who are leading the House panel’s investigation into the matter, announced following Comey’s dismissal that the committee planned to conduct “rigorous oversight” to ensure that the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election proceeds without political influence.
The White House initially sought to pin the decision to fire Comey on his handling of the FBI's investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.
But speculation has raged that the firing was an attempt to quash the bureau’s probe, after Trump himself publicly linked his decision to Comey’s investigation.
“And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,’ ” Trump said in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt after the dismissal.
The president in his dismissal letter to Comey said that he “appreciated” that the director had “on three separate occasions” assured him he was not under investigation.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that there had as yet been no political interference in the investigation.
“There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date,” he said.
The Senate Intelligence, Senate Judiciary and House Oversight panels have also issued requests for Comey's memos.