A BOMBSHELL memo written by fired FBI Director James Comey alleges Donald Trump tried to shut down the investigation into his former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn.
The New York Times reports Mr Trump asked Mr Comey to end the investigation into General Flynn during an Oval Office meeting in February.
Gen Flynn was sacked from his job as Mr Trump’s security adviser after it emerged he had lied about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Since then, his other connections to foreign governments have also been under investigation.
The Times has not seen Mr Comey’s memo, but says one of the former FBI boss’s associates read excerpts of it to a reporter.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Mr Comey wrote the memo immediately after his meeting with the President the day after Mr Flynn resigned.
“The memo was part of a paper trail Mr Comey created documenting what he perceived as the President’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation,” the Times reports, pointing out that an FBI agent’s contemporaneous notes can be used as credible evidence of conversations in court.
The White House is disputing the accuracy of the report.
“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that Gen Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” it said in a statement.
“The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
It should also be noted that the acting FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, told Congress last week: “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”
Mr Trump fired Mr Comey a week ago. At first, the White House cited Mr Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as the reason for his dismissal, but as that story’s credibility was called into question, Mr Trump changed tack.
“I was going to fire Comey,” he told NBC’s Lester Holt. “He’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”
Mr Trump implied the main reason for the sacking was Mr Comey’s refusal to scale down his agency’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election – and potential collusion between members of his presidential campaign and the Russian government.
“When I decided to do it, I said to myself … this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,” Mr Trump said.
The President’s critics claimed he had fired Mr Comey in an effort to stymie the investigation. Mr Trump argued he just wasn’t doing a good job.