President Donald Trump reportedly asked the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, to call on the Department of Justice and convince then-FBI director, James Comey, to publicly exonerate the president in the Russia probe.
According to several news sources, McGahn then called then- Deputy Acting Attorney General, Dana Boente, and asked him to persuade Comey to clear president Trump of any wrongdoings. That request was reportedly not followed through.
Aside from Trump’s alleged pleas to the Justice Department, the president also personally attempted to convince Comey to exonerate him. President Trump also tried to convince Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on numerous occasions in early 2017.
While Comey claims to have told Trump that he wasn’t under investigation privately, he did not do so publicly as to keep the right to amend or retract his statement in the future. After Comey declined to drop the Flynn investigation or exonerate president Trump, he was fired.
The latest news comes amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which looks into possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election. One of the probe’s key interests is whether president Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey last May. This revelation will most likely contribute to the Mueller’s case against Trump.
According to the White House, Comey’s firing was due to his poor handling of the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who had used a private email server to conduct government business. However, Trump would later add that another factor in Comey’s departure was “this Russia thing”.
Trump also reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, that Comey was a “nut job” and that firing him had taken “great pressure” off of him.
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