Washington — Reacting to a report that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to call off the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday “We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time.”
“I am stunned that any of my colleagues would possibly oppose the appointment of an independent special prosecutor after this astonishing revelation and other mounting evidence of political interference in a criminal investigation,” Blumenthal said.
The New York Times reported late Tuesday that Comey wrote a memo saying that Trump asked him to abandon the FBI investigation of Flynn, a member of Trump’s campaign team. The meeting took place the day after Flynn resigned in February, following revelations the former NSA chief had lied about his meetings with Russian officials before Trump took office.
The Times said Comey wrote a memo documenting what was said at the meeting because he was uncomfortable with what took place. His memo included Trump’s recommendation that Comey put reporters in prison for publishing classified information leaked to them.
The revelations — all denied by the White House — touched off a firestorm on Capitol Hill among Democrats – and led a few Republicans to agree with Democrats that a special prosecutor is needed to conduct the Russia probe.
“All of the evidence – including transcripts, tapes, memos, and other documents – must be subpoenaed immediately,” Blumenthal said. “All of the relevant actors – including Jim Comey, (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, and (White House counsel) Don McGahn – should be called to testify under oath in public before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There can be no delay.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., tweeted “Just leaving Senate floor. Lots of chatter from Ds and Rs about the exact definition of ‘obstruction of justice.’”
Revelations about Trump’s meeting with Comey follow a Washington Post story published late Monday that said Trump gave the Russian ambassador and other Russian officials classified information about ISIS the United States received from an ally, reportedly Israel.