Reports say former FBI Director James Comey authored a memo in which he stated that President Donald Trump asked him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after it was revealed that he had failed to inform Vice President Mike Pence about contacts he had with the Russian ambassador, NBC News reported.
The alleged conversation between Trump and Comey detailed in the memo occurred the day after Flynn's resignation.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump reportedly said to Comey, according to The New York Times. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
Comey made no comment to the president about the investigation, responding only by saying, "I agree he is a good guy."
Comey created a memo every time he interacted with the president, two sources told The Times. The memo referring to his Feb. 14 conversation is unclassified.
Some observers believe Trump's reported comment amounts to obstruction of justice.
"It certainly appears to meet the definition in the [obstruction] statute," said independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, according to NBC.
NBC has not seen a copy of the memo -- neither has The New York Times, the first media outlet to report the story. The Times noted that an associate of Comey read parts of the document to a reporter.
The conversation reportedly occurred between Trump and Comey in the Oval Office following a counter-terrorism briefing. Sources said that Trump asked Comey to stay behind as the meeting drew to a close.
According to the Times, a White House official issued a statement challenging the report.
While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that Gen. Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation including Gen, Flynn. The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.
However, a former law enforcement official close to Comey stated that the former FBI director was disturbed by Trump's suggestion. He added that Comey did not feel he had to resign at the time because he thought he could manage the situation and remain independent.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified to the Senate last week about the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.
"There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date," McCabe said.
The inquiry into retired Lt. Gen. Flynn is a separate investigation. Earlier in May, a Virginia grand jury subpoenaed documents related to Flynn.