House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that people are trying to harm President Trump and that Congress would continue to gather facts.
“We need the facts,” said Ryan at his weekly press conference. “It is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president. But we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the White House. And that means before rushing to judgment, we get all pertinent information.”
Ryan also said suggested that former FBI Director James Comey should have come forward immediately if Trump had asked him to end the agency’s investigation into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, as was reported by multiple media outlets Tuesday night.
“The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is appropriately [requesting] this memo,” said Ryan, “and I’m sure we’re going to go on to hear from Mr. Comey about why if this happens as he allegedly describes, why didn’t he take action at the time?”
Over the past nine days, Trump has fired Comey in the middle of an FBI investigation into potential Russian ties to the 2016 Republican campaign and revealed previously classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office. Legal analysts have said that if reports that Trump attempted to pressure Comey to drop the Flynn investigation during a February meeting are true, then the president could potentially be charged with obstruction of justice.
Ryan pointed out that there are already three ongoing investigations — by the FBI, the House and the Senate — but made no mention of the call from some legislators for a special prosecutor to look into potential ties between the White House and Russia.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Ryan. “What I told our members is now is the time to gather the pertinent information. Our job is to be responsible, sober and focused only on gathering the facts. That’s what Congress does in conducting oversight of the executive branch.”