The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee on Friday urged Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to demand documents from the White House that show the President expressing relief to top Russian diplomats over his firing of the FBI director.
“This new report that President Trump openly admitted to the Russians that he ‘faced great pressure’ from the FBI’s criminal investigation that was ‘taken off’ when he fired Director Comey is astonishing—and extremely troubling,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a statement. “If these White House documents in fact exist memorializing the President’s statements to the Russians, the Oversight Committee needs to obtain copies immediately.”
Cummings’ statement came on the heels of a New York Times report that Trump told the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the United States that he was relieved he’d gotten rid of former FBI Director James Comey.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting that was read out to the newspaper by an anonymous American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
In his statement, Cummings invoked Chaffetz’s “subpoena pen,” a reference to the Oversight Committee chairman’s request that the FBI hand over memos that Comey reportedly wrote to document his interactions with Trump.
“Chairman Chaffetz should request these White House documents today and have his subpoena pen ready—just as he did earlier this week with the memos written by Director Comey,” Cummings said.
Cummings similarly urged Chaffetz to use his subpoena pen on Thursday, when the Times reported that Flynn had told Trump’s transition team that he was under federal investigation in early January, weeks earlier than the Trump team has acknowledged.