GOP Chairmen of Three House Committees Are Now Demanding Copies of Comey’s Memos from Rosenstein

Three Republican House chairman have asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide copies of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which are said to detail the conversations he had with President Trump before he was fired.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday, the lawmakers requested that they receive the memos in unredacted form, arguing that they have a legal basis to review them, according to the Hill.

The congressmen wrote,

The Committees request the Department of Justice make copies of the Comey memos available immediately. Copies of any unclassified memos should be produced to all three Committees in unredacted form.

There is no legal basis for withholding these materials from Congress.

The letter was signed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

Walter Shaub, Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted:

So this is how they’re going to do it, and we see who‘s complicit. These three, who steadfastly refuse to conduct oversight of POTUS, are demanding material from an ongoing investigation of POTUS. One leads the committee that leaked Comey’s letter, another colludes with the WH.

The request sent to Rosenstein comes at a time when Trump is trying to lay the groundwork for his dismissal. Rosenstein, or whoever replaces him, would be the one to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to carry out the federal investigation into Russian interference.

Rosenstein further infuriated the president when he signed off on the FBI raid on Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. The raid came about as a result of a tip from Robert Mueller. News of the raid sent the president into a rage, according to the New York Times. He called it a “witch hunt” and an “attack on our country.”

The dispute over the Comey memos centers on the circumstances of his firing by Trump last year.

Comey was spearheading the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference before Trump fired him in May, a move White House officials initially claimed was based off a recommendation by Rosenstein. The president later indicated that he ousted the FBI chief in part because of “this Russia thing.”

During an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, Comey revealed that he had memorialized these meetings with the president by keeping a set of memos about the interactions—he felt the president inappropriately asked him to pledge of loyalty to him while he was leading the Russia probe. Trump also asked Comey to drop his investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired after reports revealed that he had lied to investigators about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.

Comey shared one of the memos with a friend, who then leaked its contents to the press, but the FBI chief has maintained that it did not contain classified material.

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