The events that could rock Washington this week

Even with Trump overseas, there could be fireworks in D.C.

May 22, 2017, 4:15 PM

— -- There's never a dull moment in the nation's capital these days. And even with President Donald Trump out of town for his first overseas trip, there's a good chance Washington, D.C., will continue to reel from the latest revelations concerning Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Former FBI Director James Comey will convene with at least one top lawmaker this week, and the memos he is said to have written about his meetings with Trump could be shared with investigators in the House of Representatives.

Here is a rundown of events that could rock Washington this week.

Last week's big events

The revelation that Trump disclosed what had been highly classified information in a May 10 meeting with Russian officials at the White House kicked off an especially fraught week for the administration.

On May 15, The Washington Post first reported the news of the disclosure, and while a number of White House surrogates at first denied the entirety of the story, the specifics of those denials changed over time.

The next day Trump seemingly admitted that he shared some information with the Russians but denied any wrongdoing.

"As president I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism," he wrote in two tweets.

A major concern that was raised in the wake of the disclosure was that Trump's revelations likely put the source of the information and the methods of collection in jeopardy. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, who replaced Mike Flynn after he was forced to resign in February, said that Trump "wasn't even aware" of the source of the information. It was later revealed that Israel collected the intelligence.

Later on May 16, reports of a memo that Comey reportedly wrote shortly after a Jan. 22 meeting with Trump surfaced. The memo, which purportedly said that the president asked Comey to drop the bureau's investigation into Flynn, was first reported by The New York Times. Details of its contents were later confirmed to ABC News by sources close to Comey. No reporter has claimed to have seen the notes.

PHOTO: FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

In the memo, which Comey reportedly shared with top FBI associates, he wrote that Trump told him, "I hope you can let this go," referring to the inquiry into Flynn's actions. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," said Trump, according to a source who read the memo. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go," Trump reportedly said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced on May 17 that he appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to "oversee the previously confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters."

Trump ended the week by going on the first foreign trip of his presidency, stopping first in Saudi Arabia. Over the course of his eight-day trip, he will also visit Israel, Vatican City, Belgium and Italy before returning to the U.S. on May 27.

What to look for this week

Even though Trump is away, there is a lot of action unfolding on Capitol Hill this week.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said on ABC News' "This Week" that he is slated to speak with Comey sometime today.

PHOTO: Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz appears on ABC News' "This Week," May 21, 2017.
Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz appears on ABC News' "This Week," May 21, 2017.
ABC News

"What I have heard is that I believe Director Comey and I are going to have a conversation on Monday. So I have not spoken directly with him," Chaffetz said on Sunday.

"It's important to remember nobody's actually seen these documents. Even the reporter at The New York Times has not seen these documents," Chaffetz said, referring to the documents alleging that Trump called Comey a "nut job" at his meeting with the Russians. "So there's been an awful lot written and said about it, but I don't even know that the Department of Justice has them. Maybe Director Comey has them. I don't know where they reside. I don't know if there are documents. But we're certainly pursuing them."

Former CIA Director John Brennan is slated to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Chaffetz set a Wednesday deadline for acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to share internal FBI documents relating to its Russia investigation, which likely includes any memos Comey wrote.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to testify before a House subcommittee on commerce and justice about the DOJ's budget, and members of the committee will be able to ask questions on other topics.

Away from the Hill, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is set to speak at a Harvard Law School event on Wednesday, and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will speak at New York Law School's graduation on Thursday.

Where things go from here

The FBI, the House of Representatives and the Senate are all still working on their respective Russia investigations.

Mueller has until mid-July to put together a budget for his investigation, and that budget must be approved by Rosenstein. Sessions previously recused himself from all matters related to the presidential campaign.

Beyond the Russia investigations, the health care reform battle and Trump's budget are expected to be areas of focus for lawmakers.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events