(CNN) President Donald Trump asked James Comey to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a request documented in a memo written by the former FBI director, according to sources familiar with the matter.
“I hope you can let this go,” Comey wrote, quoting Trump in the document, which CNN has not viewed but which was described by the sources.
The bombshell revelation Tuesday escalated the already raging political crises engulfing the White House triggered by the bureau’s probe into alleged cooperation between Trump aides and Russia and new reports that Trump divulged classified information to top Russian officials.
Taken at face value, the disclosures about the Comey memo appear to provide the clearest sign yet that Trump tried to pressure the FBI and the Justice Department over the Russia investigation.
Comey documented 'everything he could remember' after Trump conversations
Comey documented ‘everything he could remember’ after Trump conversations
The stunning new developments triggered immediate claims from Democrats that Trump was guilty of obstructing justice and extreme concern from Trump’s Republican allies on Capitol Hill.
The sources said that Comey was so appalled by the request from Trump, at an Oval Office meeting on February 14, that he wanted to document it in order to share his recollections of the encounter with senior FBI officials.
The White House, fighting back against yet another extraordinary political imbroglio despite its own compromised credibility, rejected the new allegations, first reported by The New York Times.