Chaffetz: ‘I Question’ Whether Comey Memos Are ‘Actually There’ (VIDEO)

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Two days after threatening to use his “subpoena pen” to get his hands on James Comey’s reported memos describing his encounters with President Donald Trump, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Thursday expressed skepticism as to whether they actually existed.

Chaffetz — in addition to many other members of Congress on both sides of the aisle — has called on Comey to testify in a public setting and provide his memos to Congress. He serves as the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

This came on the heels of a New York Times report, based on one of the fired FBI director’s memos, that Trump had attempted to suppress the FBI’s investigation of ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in February.

“I do think in the light of day in a public setting he should be able to tell us about not only the materials, if they’re there, and I question whether or not they’re actually there, but if they’re there, and then how did he take them?” Chaffetz told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Why do you question that?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well, nobody’s seen them,” Chaffetz said. “Even the reporter that did the story hasn’t seen them. Nobody I know of, even the reporter, has not [sic] actually seen these documents.”

The New York Times report described how Comey shared the memos with senior F.B.I. officials. An unnamed associate of Comey’s read parts of one memo to a Times reporter.

Chaffetz’s interview with Stephanopoulos came after the Justice Department late Wednesday announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel for the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

The House Oversight Committee chairman told Stephanopoulos that “I don’t know that a special counsel was warranted at this point. I have not seen the direct, full evidence of an actual crime.”

He went further speaking to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.

“I don’t think they should have actually appointed somebody,” Chaffetz said.

“I have not seen any evidence of actual collusion. Where is the actual crime that they think they need a special prosecutor to prosecute?” he added. “I haven’t seen that. There’s been a lot of flailing, but that flailing started before Jan. 20.”

Watch below via ABC:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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