Political News

Redacted Comey Memos Delivered to Lawmakers

Posted April 19, 2018 10:35 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sent to Capitol Hill on Thursday redacted copies of a set of closely kept memos written by James Comey, the former FBI director, about his interactions with President Donald Trump.

The memos, running 15 pages in total, detail a series of phone calls and encounters between the two men in the months leading up to Comey’s firing and offer an intimate look at interactions among the highest levels of government.

On one such occasion, memorialized in copies of the memos obtained by The New York Times, Trump told Comey that he had serious reservations about Michael Flynn, his national security adviser. Trump shared an anecdote about how, shortly after his election victory, Flynn did not promptly tell him that a foreign leader had called to congratulate him.

Comey said that Trump, in retelling the story, had pointed his fingers at his head, saying, “The guy has serious judgment issues.”

The name of the foreign leader was redacted by the Justice Department.

“I did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgment of any FBI interest in or contact with Gen. Flynn,” Comey wrote.

Flynn was fired days later for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about the details of his conversation with a Russian ambassador.

The broad outlines of the memos have already been reported by The Times and were relayed by Comey in testimony before the Senate and in his recent memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.” But they are believed to be key evidence in a possible obstruction of justice case against Trump being pursued by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Mueller was appointed after Comey was dismissed in May.

Select lawmakers have been allowed to view redacted versions of the memos at the Justice Department. But three House Republican committee chairmen requested Friday that they be sent to Congress and made clear this week that they were willing to issue a subpoena to compel Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to do so.

The Justice Department on Friday is expected to deliver unredacted versions of the memos to lawmakers via a secure transfer.