Chaffetz questions whether Comey memos are 'actually there'
Chair of House Oversight Committee expressed skepticism without Comey testimony.
TOM KUTSCH and KELLY MCCARTHY
May 18, 2017, 12:11 PM
• 3 min read
-- In an interview with "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, expressed skepticism about memos attributed by several news outlets to now- former FBI Director James Comey and expressed hope that Comey will give testimony in "the light of day, in a public setting."
"I think in the light of day in a public setting, he should be able to tell us about the materials, if they're there, and I question whether or not they're actually there," Chaffetz said, adding that Comey has yet to respond to a request for public testimony, which Chaffetz hopes to schedule for next week.
According to a memo whose existence and content were first reported on by The New York Times on Tuesday and later confirmed to ABC by sources close to Comey, President Trump asked Comey in March to drop the bureau's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey last week.
When "GMA" host George Stephanopoulos questioned Chaffetz about his skepticism regarding the memo, he replied, "Well, nobody's seen them. Even the reporter that did the story hasn't seen them. Nobody that I know of, even the reporter, has not actually seen those documents.
"I want to look at the information and hear from the person who actually wrote [the memo]. I think that's the fair way. Republicans and Democrats can look in the light of day in a public setting."
Chaffetz said he nonetheless thought that Comey's firing should be investigated.
"It's just not common that you go out and fire an FBI director," Chaffetz said. "So, yeah, I think you could support that Congress provides some executive oversight in this case."
He questioned the appointment of a special counsel to take over an investigation into possible Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election — which Comey led until he was fired.
On Wednesday, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead the probe.
"I don't know that a special counsel is warranted at this point," Chaffetz said. "I have not seen evidence of an actual crime."
But he added, "Robert Mueller is probably the best possible choice they could have made."