Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the House oversight committee, has opened up a new front in the ongoing, sprawling investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible collusion with the Trump campaign, and alleged attempts by the White House to obstruct those investigations.
On Tuesday, he sent letters to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers demanding “all documents, communications, memoranda, notes, and recordings” the officials may have from their conversations with President Trump regarding the Russia investigation. The request comes after the Washington Post reported that Trump asked both men to publicly “push back” on reports that the FBI was investigating members of his campaign for collusion with Russian officials. Both men reportedly refused the president’s entreaty.
Coats refused to confirm or deny this report while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee last week, but did say: “If I am called before a investigative committee, I will certainly provide them with what I know and what I don’t know.”
Cummings’ letter to Coats references this promise, and asks both him and Rogers if the president did in fact ask them “to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.” Cummings requested a response by June 2.
Read the letters below:
Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.