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While he was the director of the FBI, James Comey created records of interactions he had with President Donald Trump that he deemed “improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation,” according to a New York Times report on Tuesday.
As part of that paper trail, Comey had written a memo after a meeting he had with the president in February, officials told The Times.
During that meeting, the president asked him to drop the ongoing FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Comey’s memo reportedly said.
“He is a good guy,” Trump told Comey, according to the memo. “I hope you can let this go.”
Flynn resigned as national security adviser when it emerged that he had misled Vice President Pence about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
Comey’s memo on his February meeting with Trump was two pages long and highly detailed, officials told The Washington Post.
The former FBI director has a long history of maintaining extensive notes on his interactions. He rose to public prominence in 2004, when he served as acting attorney general in the Bush administration. In March of that year, Comey had a showdown with Bush White House aides when he refused to sign off on a National Security Agency surveillance program that he and Justice Department officials believed broke the law.
Comey took extensive notes during that meeting, which took place in the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
From 2004, these give you a sense of the kind of notes former FBI Director James Comey kept. pic.twitter.com/hLdeFsX9Ps
— David Gura (@davidgura) May 16, 2017
Notes taken by officials are referred to as MFRs, or memoranda for the record, Philip Mudd, a CNN counterterrorism analyst, told CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday evening. He added that maintaining notes of sensitive meetings was “common across Washington” and that Comey was “not the only one who does this.”
The contemporaneous notes maintained by FBI agents are widely viewed as credible evidence in courts.