zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / May 15, 2017 7:07 AM
Even as the White House refused to comment on whether Trump had recorded any of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey, over the weekend, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called on President Trump to turn over any tapes of conversations with Comey, setting up a potential showdown with the White House as Democrats considered a boycott of the vote on Comey’s replacement. As a reminder, in a stunning announcement on Twitter, Trump last week appeared to threaten Comey to stop communicating with the media, suggesting that he might have tapes of conversations with the fired FBI director. Both Trump and Sean Spicer declined to confirm or deny whether such tapes exist.
Specifically, Trump tweeted on Friday that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Addressing the latest Trump media firestorm, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the White House must “clear the air” about whether there are any taped conversations. “You can’t be cute about tapes. If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over,” Graham told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Another Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah told the “Fox News Sunday” program that if there are recordings it was “inevitable” that they would be subpoenaed and the White House would have to release them. Lee, who was reportedly on Trump’s list of potential replacements for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, also said recording conversations in the White House is “not necessarily the best idea.”
Meanwhile, Democrats have accused Trump of attempting to hinder the FBI’s probe and have called for some type of independent inquiry into the matter. Furthermore, Trump’s tape threat intensified calls from Democrats for an independent probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump must immediately provide Congress with any tapes and warned that destroying existing tapes would violate the law. Schumer also said Senate Democrats are weighing whether to refuse to vote on a new FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate Trump’s potential ties to Russia.
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