Top Dems To WH Counsel: Turn Over Any Comey Tapes, Records About His Firing

Ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) listens on. Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform met to consider a censure or IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Lauren Victoria Burke/FR132934 AP

Two senior Democratic lawmakers on Friday asked the White House to turn over any recordings or other materials related to President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, alleging that the President’s actions raised the possibility of “obstruction of justice.”

“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,” Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“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 lawmakers continued.

Trump tweeted on Friday that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations” if he intends to speak to the press.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeatedly declined to address the tweet during his daily press briefing, saying there was “nothing further to add on that.”

He did not confirm or deny whether the President had set up recording devices in the Oval Office or elsewhere in the White House.

Conyers and Cummings said that Comey should be allowed to give his account in public testimony, and to receive copies of any recorded conversations between Trump and the former FBI director if they exist.

“We also request all documents, memoranda, analyses, emails, and other communications relating to the President’s decision to dismiss Director Comey,” they added.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also released a statement on Friday calling for the “immediate” release of any such secret recordings.

Read the full letter from Conyers and Cummings below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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