This reminded me of ‘The Pelican Brief’ when the President asked FBI Director Voyles to “back off” looking into the brief that implicated oil tycoon and donor to the President, Victor Mattiece, in the assassination of two Supreme Court Justices.
Granted, the circumstances here are not as dramatic, but according to James Comey, Donald Trump asked him to end the investigation into Michael Flynn:
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times 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. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.
Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, only replying: “I agree he is a good guy.”
Now things are going to get serious. It is going to come down to Trump vs. Comey. The White House, of course, is denying it:
“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General 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,” the statement said. “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.”
Who to believe? With all due respect, it would not surprise me one bit if Trump asked Comey to back off the Flynn investigation. Trump doesn’t have the sense to understand that by doing so, he’s engaging in obstruction of justice. He probably just thought it was a friendly conversation.
It is not a story anti-anti-Trump people get to wave away with, “Anonymous sources!” and “Fake news because it is the NY Times!”
A simple denial is not going to be enough in this case. This will demand an investigation and there is simply no way, anybody associated with Trump can conduct it.