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By Juliegrace Brufke
Top Democrats in the House are calling on the administration to release tapes of conservation between former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump if they exist.
Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and John Conyers of Michigan — the ranking members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and House Judiciary Committee respectively — wrote a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn saying the president’s recent actions could be an “obstruction of justice.”
“Under normal circumstances, we would not consider credible any claims that the White House may have taped conversations of meetings with the President,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, because of the many false statements made by White House officials this week, we are compelled to ask whether any such recordings do in fact exist. If so, we request copies of all recordings in possession of the White House regarding this matter.”
The request follows Trump’s Friday morning tweet saying to Comey, whom he fired earlier in the week, “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.”
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Cummings and Conyers alleged Trump risks “undermining the ongoing criminal and counter-intelligence investigations” into whether the Trump campaign had any connection to the Russian government.
“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,” they wrote.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment on the president’s tweet during Friday’s press briefing.