The Justice Department Has Released the Comey Memos

On Thursday, the Justice Department (DOJ) released a set of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey regarding his private conversations with President Donald Trump to congressional committees, CNN reports.

According to The Huffington Post, Comey details his early encounters with the then-newly elected president.

In a letter sent to three top Republican House chairmen, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd explained that the DOJ decided to provide the congressional members with redacted copies of the Comey Memos due to “unusual events occurring since the previous limited disclosure.”

“The Department has consulted the relevant parties and concluded that the release of the memoranda to Congress at this time would not adversely impact any ongoing investigation or other confidentiality interests of the Executive Branch,” Boyd said in his letter.

Members of Congress will, however, be able to view unredacted copies of the memos in a classified setting on Capitol Hill on Friday, CNN reports.

A source told CNN that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office was consulted about the release of the memos and raised no objections to their release. On Thursday, James Comey told CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview on “The Lead” that it was “fine by [him]” for members of Congress to read his memos. Trump was briefed on the contents of the memos prior to their release.

The memos existence first came to light when Comey asked a friend to provide some of the contents of the memos to The New York Times in hopes that it would lead to the appointment of a special counsel for the Russia investigation. According to CNN, Comey, in this particular memo, detailed how Trump asked him to curtail the investigation on Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser.

According to Axios, Comey discusses conversations he had with Trump during a private dinner, along with discussing the dossier, leaks and Michael Flynn. Comey wrote that Trump asked his to get out that he was not under investigation; in his memo he wrote: “I said that...he should have the White House Counsel call the Acting Attorney General and make the request. He said that was what he would do. He then added, ‘Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know.’ I did not reply, or ask him what he meant by ‘that thing.’”

Comey also wrote that during a private dinner he told Trump that he could always be counted on to tell the truth. “I said I don't do sneaky things. I don't leak. I don't do weasel moves. I was not on anybody's side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense,” Comey wrote.

On discussing the dossier, Comey wrote, “The President said 'the hookers thing' is nonsense but that Putin had told him 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.' (He did not say when Putin told him this and I don't recall.)”

Certain members of Congress had recently pushed for the memos to be released. According to HuffPost, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte was ready to issue a subpoena to obtain the memos.

Goodlatte, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy requested the memos, along with other documents, from the DOJ last week as part of their ongoing investigation on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation in 2016, CNN reports.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said of releasing the memos: “Everything that's been said about them, and everybody knows most everything that's in them, so they ought to be.”

You can read the memos here.