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If there are any Trump-Comey tapes, Congress wants them

The House Intelligence committee has requested that the White House produce any recordings that might exist of President Donald Trump’s conversations with fired FBI director James B. Comey.

Late Friday afternoon, the head of the committee’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Rep. Mike Conaway, and ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, requested that White House counsel Don McGahn confirm or deny whether tapes exist. If they do, the committee wants copies by June 23.

Earlier Friday, Mr. Trump declined to answer questions about tapes during a Rose Garden news conference.

“I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future,” Mr. Trump said.

Last month, after Mr. Comey’s dismissal by Mr. Trump, the president implied over Twitter that he might have recorded their private meetings.

On Thursday, in one of the most anticipated Capitol Hill confrontations in years, Mr. Comey told the Senate Intelligence committee that he hopes such tapes exist.

The two men have differing accounts of the several private meetings they held before Mr. Comey’s dismissal.

Mr. Comey also wrote memos about their meetings, one of which he leaked after Mr. Trump’s tweet about the tapes.

On Thursday, Mr. Comey explained that the leak went to a law professor friend at Columbia University he used as a go-between to share the memo with reporters, though he didn’t name the professor.

“I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Mr. Comey testified.

On Friday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee members, led by chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, called on the Columbia Professor — now known to be Daniel Richman — to provide copies of any Comey memos he leaked to the media.

Mr. Richman has reportedly confirmed that he was the friend Mr. Comey referenced in Thursday’s testimony.

Portions of one memo were reported in The New York Times.

The senators had previously requested copies of the memos from the FBI and directly from Mr. Comey. But Mr. Comey refused to cooperate at the time, according to the committee. The committee added that the FBI has thus far not provided the memos and Mr. Comey has also declined an invitation to testify before its members.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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