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Senate Judiciary requests Comey memos, any White House tapes

In this Wednesday, May 3, 2017, photo then-FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. President Donald Trump abruptly fired Comey on May 9, ousting the nation's top law enforcement official in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's election meddling.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking the FBI to provide memos from former director James Comey and for the White House to turn over any audio recordings that might exist of conversations with the now-fired director.

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California sent the letter to the Justice Department and the White House on Wednesday. They called on the White House "to provide records of interactions with former Director Comey, including any audio recordings."

The letter came after the Senate Intelligence Committee made a similar request for Comey's memos. The Intelligence panel also sought his testimony in open or closed session.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say they expect the panel to ask ousted FBI Director James Comey to testify to Congress.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Wednesday he expects the committee leadership to send a letter shortly to the former director.

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island also said he expects a request will be made to Comey.

Comey wrote a memo after one February meeting at the White House stating that President Donald Trump had asked him to shut down the FBI's investigation of sacked national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Judiciary committee has requested memos and other documents.

Graham said: "I think the legislative process is pretty much ground to a halt until you get the Comey episode dealt with."

According to a release:

In a letter to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Judiciary Committee leaders request “all such memos, if they exist, that Mr. Comey created memorializing interactions he had with Presidents Trump and Obama, Attorneys General Sessions and Lynch, and Deputy Attorneys General Rosenstein, Boente, and Yates regarding the investigations of Trump associates’ alleged connections with Russia or the Clinton email investigation.”

This story will be updated.

The letter in full:

The Honorable Andrew McCabe

Acting Director

Federal Bureau of Investigation

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20535

Dear Acting Director McCabe:

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that former Director Comey created memos regarding his interactions with President Trump, “a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation.” The article stated that “Mr. Comey created similar memos – including some that are classified – about every phone call and meeting he had with the president.” More generally, the article stated “Mr. Comey was known among his closet advisers to document conversations that he believed would later be called into question.” Presumably, this means that Mr. Comey created similar memoranda relating to other controversial conversations, whether with officials in the current administration or the prior one.

We are writing to request that the FBI provide the Committee with all such memos, if they exist, that Mr. Comey created memorializing interactions he had with Presidents Trump and Obama, Attorneys General Sessions and Lynch, and Deputy Attorneys General Rosenstein, Boente, and Yates regarding the investigations of Trump associates’ alleged connections with Russia or the Clinton email investigation. Please provide these documents by no later than May 24, 2017.

We anticipate that some of these documents may be classified, some may not, and others may contain both classified and unclassified information. Please deliver any documents containing classified information to the Office of Senate Security and provide all unclassified documents directly to the Committee. If you have any specific requests with regard to the Committee’s handling of unclassified material, please raise those with us in advance.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Davis of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-5225, Heather Sawyer of Ranking Member Feinstein’s staff at (202) 224-7703, Lee Holmes of Chairman Graham’s staff at (202) 224-5972, or Lara Quint of Ranking Member Whitehouse’s staff at (202) 224-2921.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Dianne Feinstein

Chairman Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary Committee on the Judiciary

Lindsey Graham Sheldon Whitehouse

Chairman Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism

Committee on the Judiciary Committee on the Judiciary

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