President Trump’s tweet saying he didn’t tape record his conversations with now former FBI Director James Comey wasn’t enough to satisfy the heads of the House Intelligence Committee.
They’re now threatening to subpoena the White House for any recordings.
Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, the committee chairman and Adam Schiff, D-Calif, the ranking member, sent out a joint statement that said the White House needs to clarify whether ‘recordings, memoranda, or other documents,’ exist.
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Former FBI director James Comey is seen in New York last week on Thursday. The heads of the House Intel Committee are now threatening to subpoena the White House for any recordings of the president and Comey’s conversations
The two lawmakers added that they were thinking about using a ‘compulsory process’ to obtain the information they sought.
Originally, the bipartisan duo had requested that Trump turn over any recordings he made of his conversations with the FBI director, who he later fired, by last Friday.
That prompted the president to tweet: ‘With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with Jim Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.’
Not satisfied with that response, Conaway and Schiff penned the letter to the White House asking if it ever had any recordings, or documents, that would have given an account of those conversations in question.
‘By only referring to the President’s statement, the White House’s letter stops short of clarifying for the Committee whether the White House has any responsive recordings, memoranda, or other documents,’ they said.
Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, the committee chairman and Adam Schiff, D-Calif, (center) the ranking member, sent out a joint statement that said the White House needs to clarify whether ‘recordings, memoranda, or other documents,’ exist
‘Today’s letter from the Committee makes clear that should the White House not respond fully, the Committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response.’
It was Trump, himself, who originally made the claim that there might be recordings of the conversations.
‘James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’ Trump wrote.
The move backfired, as Comey, using a Columbia University law professor pal, did leak his memos to the New York Times, and then backed up that account when he testified before Congress.
Comey told lawmakers and the public, borrowing from his detailed notes, that Trump had pressured him to lay off an investigation into the president’s now former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Now the FBI’s Russia probe, handed over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is looking into if that amounted as an attempt to obstruct justice.
Trump told Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt in an interview that aired last Monday that he cannot be sure that their conversations weren’t recorded
Trump told Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt in an interview that aired last Monday that he cannot be sure that their conversations weren’t recorded.
‘Well, I didn’t tape him. You never know what’s happening when you see that the Obama administration, and perhaps longer than that, was doing all of unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it,’ he said. But I didn’t tape. And I don’t have any tape, and I didn’t tape.’
Then he accused Comey of preparing, possibly, to commit perjury, contending that the tweet may have scared his former FBI director into telling the truth about their interactions.
‘When he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed,’ he said. ‘I mean you’ll have to take a look at that, because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events.’
Trump has disputed parts of Comey’s story, though, including his alleged attempt to waive the law enforcement official off of Flynn – something the president says he did not do.