In a letter to Trump’s White House counsel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested that all tapes and correspondence between Trump and former FBI Director James Comey be turned over to congressional investigators.
In a letter, aa provided to Politicususa, to White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II, House Democrats wrote:
President Trump took to Twitter earlier today to threaten former FBI Director James Comey, stating that he “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Under Section 1512 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, it is a crime to intimidate or threaten any potential witness with the intent to influence, delay, or prevent their official testimony.
The President’s actions this morning—as well as his admission yesterday on national television that he fired Director Comey because he was investigating Trump campaign officials and their connections to the Russian government—raise the specter of possible intimidation and obstruction of justice. The President’s actions also risk undermining the ongoing criminal and counter-intelligence investigations and the independence of federal law enforcement agencies.
We believe Congress should immediately seek the testimony of Director Comey to better understand the circumstances surrounding these events, although no House Committee Chairman has yet agreed to any such hearings.
Under normal circumstances, we would not consider credible any claims that the White House may have taped conversations of meetings with the President. However, because of the many false statements made by White House officials this week, we are compelled to ask whether any such recordings do in fact exist. If so, we request copies of all recordings in possession of the White House regarding this matter.
We also request all documents, memoranda, analyses, emails, and other communications relating to the President’s decision to dismiss Director Comey—a decision which the President declared yesterday he planned to make “regardless of [the Deputy Attorney General’s] recommendation”—and all discussions with Director Comey.
We would ask that you respond to this letter as promptly as possible, but in any event no later than the close of business of Thursday, May 25, 2017.
The letter sent by the Democrats is the first formal step towards obtaining any White House tapes, transcripts, and/or documents related to the Comey firing. If the White House doesn’t comply and let’s be honest, they probably won’t; Democrats will then escalate possibly going as far as suing the president and the White House for access to the tapes and documents.
Trump created this situation with his heavy-handed attempt to intimidate James Comey. No one would even be thinking about the possibility of tapes existing if it wasn’t for Trump’s tweet.
The letter from Rep. John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is a reminder of what is at stake in the 2018 midterm elections. If you are a concerned American who wants a real investigation into Donald Trump, the best way for that to happen is to elect a Democratically controlled Congress in 2018.
The Democrats are doing everything that they can, and they are putting the wheels in motion to force Trump to turn over all Comey related materials.
It is time to figure out exactly what Donald Trump is hiding.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association