Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee are asking the White House to produce any tapes that might exist of President Donald Trump’s conversations with ousted FBI director James Comey.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lawmakers leading the investigation, asked White House counsel Don McGahn on Friday to confirm whether any tapes exist, and if so, to produce them for the committee by June 23.
Their request comes less than two hours after President Donald Trump, in a Rose Garden news conference, refused to answer questions about whether such tapes exist.
Trump first raised the prospect of tapes in a May 12 tweet, just three days after he fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump tweeted.
But the White House has repeatedly refused to reveal whether such tapes exist. Comey testified under oath on Thursday that Trump asked him to end an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn during a private Oval Office meeting. Comey declined the request but memorialized the meeting in a memo, he said, because the encounter made him uncomfortable.
“Look, I’ve seen the tweet about tapes,” Comey told the Committee on Thursday. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
The committee also requested copies of Comey’s notes and memos about his conversations with Trump. It’s now the fourth committee to request Comey’s notes, joining the House Oversight Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The judiciary panel, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), requested that a friend of Comey’s — Columbia law professor Dan Richman — turn over his copies of Comey’s memos. Comey identified Richman, though not by name, during his testimony on Thursday, indicating he shared with Richman the content of his memos to release to the press after he was fired.
“Mr. Comey himself has encouraged you to release them,” the committee members wrote in a letter dated Thursday. “Accordingly, we ask that you provide the Committee copies of all memoranda you received from Mr. Comey by no later than June 9, 2017.
Comey indicated that he’s provided his own copies of his memos to special counsel Robert Mueller, and that he’s no longer in possession of them.
A lawyer for Trump has threatened to file a complaint to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Comey’s decision to publicize the memos through his friend.
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