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Grassley, senators request memos related to Comey during Obama, Trump administration

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley along with three other key members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking the FBI to provide all memos relating to former FBI Director James Comey's communication with his superiors in both the Trump and Obama administrations.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., as well as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island joined Sen. Grassley in the request.

The requests from the Senate Judiciary Committee came in letters to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and White House Counsel Donald McGahn Wednesday morning. 

The letters referenced a New York Times article, which revealed former FBI Director Comey "memorialized the content of his phone calls and meetings with President Trump in a series of internal memoranda."

"We ought to have a whole picture of all the memos that Comey has written throughout the investigations that started under the Obama administration and went on into this administration," said Grassley Wednesday afternoon. "So we get a complete picture and we can tell exactly the legitimacy of all these stories coming out of the FBI."

In a letter to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Senate Judiciary Committee leaders requested “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.”

The committee wrote, "More generally, the article stated 'Mr. Comey was known among his closest advisers to document conversations that he believed would be later called into question.' Presumably, this means that Mr. Comey created similar memoranda related to other controversial conversations, whether with officials in the current administration or the prior one."

The letter sent to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, seeks “all White House records memorializing interactions with Mr. Comey relating to the FBI’s investigation of alleged ties between President Trump’s associates and Russia, or the Clinton email investigation, including all audio recordings, transcripts, notes, summaries, or memoranda.

The committee set a deadline for the documents for May 24, 2017. 

Despite bi-partisan calls for a special prosecutor, Grassley said Wednesday the avenue isn't necessary given the current circumstances. 

"In order to appoint a special prosecutor, and the Deputy Attorney General could do that right now if he wanted to, but you've got to have suspicion of a crime being committed," said Grassley. "So far, there's been all these accusations about Russia, but no evidence. But there's never been any accusations of the law being violated. So the basis for a special prosecutor isn't even there."

Sen. Grassley also made clear appointing a special prosecutor would also take more time to complete. 

"It's just like a grand jury, they don't talk about it," said Grassley. "And they can't talk about it. The most important thing is, at the end of it you're going to have reports. Whether there's anybody guilty of anything or not, and that's what the people have been crying for since January. That we need to know if there was any interference in the campaign by Russia. And we know there was interference or at least attempted interference, but what we don't know and have never heard even that votes have been changes as a result of it. Russia just interfered with the French election as an example. So if you want to get to the bottom of it, like we said in January, you don't want to hold things up by starting a whole new investigation, which you can't even start under a special prosecutor approach until you know there's been the possibility of a crime being committed."

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