WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) — The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee demanded Tuesday that the FBI turn over all documents it has about communications between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.
Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent the letter a few hours after The New York Times first reported that Trump allegedly asked Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
NBC News has independently confirmed the Times report, along with additional details. Multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of the memo said it was part of a paper trail that Comey built to document what he believed to be Trump’s efforts to derail the FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian ties to his presidential campaign.
In an interview with NBC News, Chaffetz said that if the memo exists and accurately recorded the conversation, “that seems like an extraordinary use of influence to try to shut down an investigation being done by the FBI.”
Chaffetz tweeted later: “I have my subpoena pen ready.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — a Republican, like Trump and Chaffetz — appeared to endorse Chaffetz’s demand for the FBI documents.
“We need to have all the facts, and it is appropriate for the House Oversight Committee to request this memo,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan.
Chaffetz will also have the support of Democratic members of his committee.
All Democrats on both the Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee sent a separate letter Tuesday demanding an investigation into whether Trump and other top officials “are engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct” FBI, Justice Department and congressional investigations.