A congressional committee wants to know if the White House did indeed keep tapes of President Donald Trump’s private conversations with James Comey, the former FBI director who testified in the Senate this week.
The House Intelligence Committee has submitted two letters to the administration related to the Comey revelations surrounding his meetings with Trump: one to the Department of Justice’s special counsel Robert Mueller for Comey’s personal memos, and a second to White House counsel Don McGahn, requesting information on any possible “recordings or memoranda of Comey’s conversations with President Trump.”
House Intel sent letter to WH demanding any tape recordings of conversations between President & Comey be preserved, and produced by June 23 pic.twitter.com/6kQYY4EQpR
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 9, 2017
The request comes the day after Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he confirmed reports of Trump asking him to “let go” of the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, said the White House and president propagated “lies” about him, and described a strained and tense relationship between himself and the president.
House Intelligence Chair Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and ranking Democratic member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) have worked to establish themselves as the leads in the House on the investigation into the White House’s possible ties to Russian actors. This week, while the attention was on the Senate for the Comey hearing, Conaway and Schiff held a press conference to remind the public that they are pursuing an “aggressive” investigation into the Russia-related scandals.
They told reporters to anticipate action from their end — in addition to floating interest in testimony from Jeh Johnson, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security under former President Barack Obama.
So far there is no evidence that tapes of Comey and Trump’s conversations actually exist outside of the White House, creating an air of mystery around the idea and distracting from the many already damning allegations around the Trump administration. White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said “no comment” when asked if the tapes exist on Fox News Friday morning, and Trump has repeatedly tweeted about the idea. Trump himself was the one that floated the possibility in the first place, with a tweet claiming, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
During a press conference Friday, Trump refused to make any kind of firm statement on the possibility, simply talking around the idea.
“I’ll tell you something about that maybe sometime in the very near future,” Trump said, adding “I’ll tell you about it over a short period of time. I’m not hinting at anything.” And, “You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”
In the testimony, Comey acknowledged Trump’s tweets himself.
“Lordy,” he said, “I hope there are tapes.”
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