Amid the reported threat of subpoena, the Justice Department released former FBI Director James Comey’s memos to Congress Thursday evening.
Copies of the memos, which detail Comey’s conversations with President Donald Trump, quickly found there way to the press, but Democrats complained the Comey memos may bring about the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The memos offer a “staggering insider account,” as CNN stated, “a contemporaneous and deeply unflattering view” of the president, but there’s appears to be no smoking gun to hang on Trump.
President Trump drew his own conclusion in a late-night post on Twitter.
Trump tweeted: “James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, the ranking member the House Judiciary Committee, expressed concerns that a subpoena would have put Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of “being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Nadler said the memos are “key” to Mueller’s work, according to The Examiner, and “pursuant to a longstanding Department policy and absent any satisfactory accommodation, the Department of Justice cannot simply hand over evidence that is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.”
“I fear the Majority will have manufactured an excuse to hold the Deputy Attorney General in contempt of Congress,” Nadler said, in the absence of an accommodation.
“If they succeed in tarnishing the Deputy Attorney General, perhaps they will have given President Trump pretext he has sought to replace Rosenstein with someone willing to do his bidding and end the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
The memos present problems for the fired FBI director, in that the notes he leaked to the press appear to contain classified information, as Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said in a series of tweets Thursday night.
He also shared a telling observation: “The pettiness of the memos is striking. Comey clearly had it out for Trump from the beginning.”
The pettiness of the memos is striking. Comey clearly had it out for Trump from the beginning.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 20, 2018
The lawmaker was part of a group of Republican members of Congress who sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department and FBI on Wednesday, naming Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Hillary Clinton in connection with shady 2016 campaign activities — see unverified Russian dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
DeSantis also noted that the memos show that the Democrats “obstruction angle” was little more than a pipe dream:
Memos paint the picture of an innocent man: Trump was frustrated that Comey kept telling him he wasn’t under investigation yet the public was being led to believe otherwise. Trump wanted his name cleared & his behavior was consistent with someone who hadn’t done anything wrong.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 20, 2018
In the end, DeSantis put it all on Rosenstein for caving to pressure in appointing Mueller.
“Tragedy that a special counsel investigation was launched by leaking of the memos (which Comey has admitted). No basis in the memos to trigger a criminal investigation & it is to the discredit of Rosenstein that he caved to the pressure of the media/Democrats & appointed Mueller,” he tweeted.
Tragedy that a special counsel investigation was launched by leaking of the memos (which Comey has admitted). No basis in the memos to trigger a criminal investigation & it is to the discredit of Rosenstein that he caved to the pressure of the media/Democrats & appointed Mueller.
— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) April 20, 2018
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