Three powerful Republican lawmakers have agreed to extend their deadline for the Justice Department to fork over copies of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos documenting his interactions with President Donald Trump.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy demanded Friday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein produce the documents by Monday afternoon.
But a Gowdy aide said Rosenstein contacted them and asked for a few more days to consider their request, and the chairmen agreed.
It’s the latest point of friction between House Republicans and Rosenstein, who has been squeezed by Trump and congressional Republicans to produce more documents at the center of the FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The Comey memos are particularly sensitive because they’re believed to be at the heart of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice by seeking to interfere in the Russia probe.
Comey has admitted that after Trump fired him last May, he leaked elements of his memos to a friend, who then passed them to The New York Times — part of an effort he said he hoped would lead to a special counsel investigation. Days after Comey’s memos were revealed, Rosenstein appointed Mueller to run the investigation.
Comey indicated in testimony last June that he was open to sharing his memos with Congress but it’s unclear whether they’ve been made available. Comey is at the beginning of a national publicity tour for his new book, which includes a harsh assessment of Trump’s leadership and has prompted fierce criticism from GOP lawmakers.