Comey Memos Released By Justice Department
The Justice Department has released redacted copies of a set of memos written by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd notified the chairs of at least six congressional committees that it was providing both redacted and un-redacted versions of the documents. Unredacted versions of the memos will be delivered to lawmakers via a secure transfer.
The memos detail Comey’s interactions with President Trump in a series of phone calls and encounters. They run 15 pages in total and covers the months leading up to Comey’s firing by President Trump. The memos may be key evidence in a possible obstruction of justice case against President Trump conducted by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mueller was appointed after Comey’s firing in May.
The former FBI director said he began writing memos about his meetings and telephone contacts with the president after their first meeting, shortly before Trump’s inauguration. The broad outlines of the memos have already been revealed by Comey in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year. The memos are also referenced in Comey’s recent memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”
The memos offer an intimate look at dealings among the highest levels of government. They reference the president’s alleged demands for loyalty from the former director and his requests for Comey to end the investigation into the president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia ambassador Sergey Kislyak and is now cooperating with the special counsel’s investigators.
The chairmen of three House committees that requested the documents said they were glad Comey’s memos were finally being made public. A statement from Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. read: “These memos are significant for both what is in them and what is not.”
Trump tweeted in response to the release: “James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?” However, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said that Comey’s memos “provide strong corroborating evidence of everything he said about President Trump”.