Colorado Republicans more serious about truth in Trump investigation
Author: Peter Marcus - May 17, 2017 - Updated: May 17, 2017
Republicans from Colorado’s congressional delegation appear more interested in seeking the truth behind President Trump’s potential obstruction of justice.
The fallout began this week following reports that President Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to shut down a federal investigation into the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
The reports stem from a memo Comey wrote shortly after an Oval Office meeting in February.
Flynn resigned after it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Comey, according to the memo.
Trump fired Comey last week, though the reason behind the move is unclear.
In a turn of events, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked that the FBI release all documents and recordings of conversations between the president and Comey.
A subpoena of the documents and conversations remains a possibility.
It is a question of a potential obstruction of justice by Trump, suggesting that the president tried to influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into connections between Trump associates and Russia.
While the Comey memo has been shared with certain FBI officials, according to reports, the full contents of the memo have not been made public, though some portions have been read to national reporters.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, tweeted last night that the memo should be made public.
We need the memos, Comey should testify and I still believe that a special prosecutor should be named.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) May 17, 2017
A spokesman for Coffman clarified on Wednesday, “Congressman Coffman has called for an independent investigation, has said Congress needs the memos, and believes Comey should testify.”
A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, said, “Congressman Tipton supports the House Oversight Committee’s request for Mr. Comey’s documents. Until he has access to them, the Congressman will not be commenting further.”
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Greeley, added, “I support the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s effort to review the Comey memo, and I would like to see Mr. Comey testify before Congress. As a prosecutor for 25 years, I value due process. I’m not going to reach a conclusion until I see all of the evidence.”
But U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, took a more favorable approach to Trump.
“I place more trust in the account of Oval Office meetings with the National Security Advisor than I do with unnamed sources,” Lamborn said in a statement on social media.
“General McMaster has stated repeatedly and unequivocally that the President behaved in a manner that was ‘wholly appropriate.’ That said, I believe that it is important for the President to put a stop to the swirling media narratives around his actions by sharing the complete truth with the nation. By doing so, he can help return the discussion to solving problems and working hard on behalf of the American people.”
Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner added, “The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee has asked James Comey to appear in front of the committee, and they have asked acting FBI Director McCabe for any notes or memos prepared by Comey regarding communication with the Department of Justice and White House on the ongoing Russia investigation. I strongly support these bipartisan actions.
“We currently do not have all the information – and we need to see it before we comment further. It’s also important that this does not impact the ongoing investigation into Russia.”
Republicans asked by Colorado Politics what their standard is for seriously discussing impeachment proceedings have been hesitant to respond.
Another layer to the debate is a meeting Trump had last week with Russian officials in the Oval Office. Trump has been accused of revealing classified information.
There have, however, been conflicting reports on the meeting Trump had with Russian officials, and so Republicans have been hesitant to offer concrete statements on the allegations.
Concerning the Comey memo, the White House denied any influence over the investigation.
“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the White House statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”
But Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, called the recent revelations “deeply disturbing.”
“Congress needs more information, including access to the memos from Director Comey and any recordings or transcripts from the White House. Comey also should testify publicly.
“This further underscores what we have been demanding for months. We need an independent special prosecutor to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election and connections to the Trump campaign and Administration.”