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 James Comey and expressed his hope that the former FBI director would 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,” he said, adding that he has yet to hear back from Comey about his request for public testimony, which he hopes to schedule for next week.
According to a memo whose existence and content was first reported on by The New York Times on Tuesday and later confirmed to ABC by sources close to Comey, the former FBI director was asked in March by President Trump to drop the bureau’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey as director last week.
When questioned by “GMA” host George Stephanopoulos about his skepticism about the Comey documents, Chaffetz said, “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 it [the memo in question],” Chaffetz said. “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,” he said. “So yeah, I think you could support that Congress provides some executive oversight in this case.”
Chaffetz also questioned the appointment of a special counsel to take over the investigation into possible Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. election, which Comey had been leading 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,” he added, before saying, “Robert Mueller is probably the best possible choice they could have made.”