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Democratic Leader To Trump: If The Alleged White House Tapes Exist, Release Them

President Trump needs to turn over audio tapes of White House conversations, if they exist as he suggested, the top-ranking congressional Democrat declared Thursday.

“It’s awfully curious that no one from the president’s team will either confirm or deny the existence of the tapes when the tapes are the only way to prove that Mr. Comey’s testimony, which came under oath, are false or misleading,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said. He was referring to former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Comey accused the president of demanding his “loyalty” and asking him to end the bureau’s investigation of former national security director Michael Flynn’s links to Russia. Trump denies making the statements. House Speaker Paul Ryan noted that it is a “he said-he said” situation, since no one else was in the room at the White House when Comey met with Trump. The ex-FBI chief wrote memos about his encounters with the president so he would remember what was said. After leaving the bureau, he leaked the memos to the news media.

According to The Hill, Schumer argued that if Trump refutes “anything the director said, (he should) play the tapes for all of America to hear or admit that there were no tapes.” The administration has not confirmed or denied there are any recordings. On May 12, soon after he fired Comey, the president threatened on Twitter: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

During his testimony, the former director remarked: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” He accused Trump of telling “lies” about the FBI, and said he wrote the memos because he feared the president would also lie about the conversations. Schumer proclaimed after the hearing that “America is stunned.” He explained: “The cloud hanging over this administration has just gotten a whole lot darker. Few committee hearings in the history of the Senate have produced the kind of eye-opening testimony that we heard today.”

Trump’s defenders are citing the leaked memos to question Comey’s credibility. He told the committee: “I asked a friend of mine (Columbia Law School professor Daniel C. Richman) to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. … As a private citizen, I thought it important to share that. I wanted to get it out.”

Comey claimed he did not go to the news media himself because he “worried it’d be like feeding seagulls at the beach.” He insisted that the memos were personal notes about his “recollections” that contained no classified government information. The fired director leaked the documents after leaving government service, which means he was not subject to regulations governing federal employees.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recently named a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is coordinating all the federal inquiries related to allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

Source: The Hill
Photo: YouTube

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