Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations....I'd like to know more about the basis for saying "An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations." I'm guessing that's a reference to the admissibility of the evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule (803(6)). The weight to be given the evidence depends on all of the circumstances. By the way, it's double hearsay, since we're asked not only to believe what Comey wrote but the unnamed individuals who told the NYT about the memo. The NYT has not seen a copy of the memo.
But let's assume the memo exists and says what you read quoted in the post title. How bad is it to say Flynn is a "good guy" and to express "hope" about the outcome? The headline has a pretty aggressive paraphrase of the quote. It reads: "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation."
The asking is at most only implicit in what is a declarative statement: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go." That's just Trump revealing what he hopes for. There's no question at all, let alone any pressure or threat. And "see your way clear" is a delicate phrase. That's not saying do it my way. Go your way. And if your path is clear and it gets you to the outcome I hope for, then I will get what I want, but I'm assuming you will go where you see it clear.
Here's the White House response to the memo:
“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General 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 involving General 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."