Amid the backlash Wednesday morning over an explosive report that President Trump had asked former FBI director James Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the Republican National Committee tweeted out that acting FBI director Andrew McCabe had testified last week that the agency’s work was not obstructed at any point.
At a hearing on May 11 before the Senate Intelligence Committee, McCabe was asked by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) whether “the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations?”
McCabe replied that “the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.
Simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women from the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
However, according to Comey’s notes, Trump had urged him to drop the counterintelligence investigation into Flynn in the wake of the former national security adviser’s resignation.
“I hope you can let this go,” Trump said, according to Comey’s notes, which were described to The Washington Post by the former director’s associates. The associates said Comey wrote a detailed, two-page account of the meeting, noting that Trump described Flynn as “a good guy.”
It’s unclear from the questioning if McCabe was talking solely about the consequences of Comey’s abrupt firing, or referring to a specific investigation on Trump’s associates for possible connections to Russian officials..
The White House has denied the accuracy of reports on Comey’s recollections of the conversation with Trump. In a statement, the White House said, “the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end an investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn… This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”
Comey’s account of the February meeting made clear that his understanding of the conversation was that the president was attempting improperly to impede the probe, people who have read the notes told The Post.
Flynn has been under investigation for a variety of issues, including over payments he received from foreign entities, his alleged violation of laws requiring him to register as an agent of foreign government, and his communications with Russian officials.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight committee, has said he’s prepared to issue a subpoena to get a copy of Comey’s notes.
“I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready,” he tweeted.
Chaffetz wrote a letter to the FBI Tuesday night, after the New York Times broke the story, requesting any and all communications between Comey and Trump.