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U.S. lawmakers ask Trump to turn over any Comey tapes


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U.S. lawmakers ask Trump to turn over any Comey tapes

By Ayesha Rascoe

REUTERS

 

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Senate Minority Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters after a Democratic caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to turn over any tapes of conversations with fired FBI chief James Comey, potentially setting up a showdown with the White House as Democrats considered a boycott of the vote on Comey's replacement.

 

In a highly unusual move, Trump last week appeared to suggest on Twitter that he might have tapes of conversations with Comey and warned the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation against talking to the media. Trump and a White House spokesman declined to confirm or deny whether such tapes exist.

 

Republican 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" programme.

 

Trump sparked a political firestorm when he abruptly fired Comey last week. The FBI has been investigating alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

 

Democrats have accused Trump of attempting to thwart the FBI's probe and have called for some type of independent inquiry into the matter.

 

Trump has said he removed Comey because he was not doing a good job and that Comey had lost the support of FBI employees.

 

Trump tweeted on Friday that "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

 

If there are recordings, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah told the "Fox News Sunday" programme it was "inevitable" that they would be subpoenaed and the White House would have to release them.

 

Lee, who was 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."

 

'SIGH OF RELIEF'

 

Trump's threat about tapes has 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.

 

Russia has denied the claims and the White House says there was no collusion.

 

"To have that special prosecutor, people would breathe a sigh of relief because then there would be a real independent person overlooking the FBI director," Schumer told CNN's "State of the Union" programme.

 

Trump, who has sought better relations with Russia, has continued to question whether it was behind the hacking of email accounts belonging to Democrats involved in Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

 

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told NBC's "Meet the Press" programme there is no question that "the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes."

 

He defended Trump's decision to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office last week.

 

"It's in the interest of the American people, it's in the interest of Russia and the rest of the world that we do something to see if we cannot improve the relationship between the two greatest nuclear powers in the world," Tillerson said.

 

The Justice Department began interviewing candidates for the FBI director job on Saturday. Some people under consideration include acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, New York Appeals Court Judge Michael Garcia and former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, according to a White House official.

 

Meanwhile, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday found that 29 percent of Americans approve of Trump's decision to fire Comey, while 38 percent disapprove.

 

If a Senate vote on a new FBI director breaks down along party lines, Democrats would not have the votes to block a nominee because Republicans hold a majority in the chamber.

 

"The key is getting some of our Republican colleagues to join us," Schumer said.

 

Republican leaders in the Senate have rebuffed calls for a special prosecutor, saying it would interfere with ongoing congressional probes.

 

Graham said there may come a time when a special prosecutor is needed but not now.

 

"Right now, it is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. So you don't need a special prosecutor," Graham said on "Meet the Press."

 

(Additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Caren Bohan and Jeffrey Benkoe)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-15
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How funny is this going to get. Either Trump says OK and hands them over and the truth is exposed (after subpoena as he won't agree to do it before) OR he says there are no tapes and Comey goes for the jugular, OR he tries to destroy said tapes and is found out later and does 10 years in jail.

 

Nice move Trump, so what will he do?

 

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Edited by Andaman Al
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Trump's tweet sounded like he was threatening Comey, like one of his five-family friends. It seemed so strange, but then probably easier than finding a severed horse's head, and getting Keith Schiller to deliver it, I guess?

 

Past associates of Trump, from his successful businessman days, say that he did indeed record some/many telephone conversations. New York State, like D.C. is a "one-party consent" jurisdiction with regards to recording conversations, so it would be legal from Trump to do so.

 

I'm not certain Trump is required to turn over any tapes unless subpoenaed as part of a criminal investigation, but I'm not a lawyer. Not sure firing Comey was "criminal" in the strict legal sense?

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Its more than likely that the 'tapes' consist of nothing more than his non secured android phone (which he still uses) put into record mode when Comey came into hi office. He likely deleted this already after realizing how stupid it was to mention it. You'd have better luck asking the Russians for transcripts of the conversation I think.

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25 minutes ago, tonray said:

Its more than likely that the 'tapes' consist of nothing more than his non secured android phone (which he still uses) put into record mode when Comey came into hi office. He likely deleted this already after realizing how stupid it was to mention it. You'd have better luck asking the Russians for transcripts of the conversation I think.

 

The situation is a little different when a person is in a federal facility and both parties are in the employee of the government.   I think there may be other laws and regulations on this issue.  

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Scott said:

 

The situation is a little different when a person is in a federal facility and both parties are in the employee of the government.   I think there may be other laws and regulations on this issue.  

 

 

Agreed...but if already deleted, someone has to subpoena the phone , and the reality and logistics are that unless someone drops a dime on him...the phone can disappear without a trace.

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Did he tape or not? Who knows, who could tell. Trump lies at about same rate most of us breathe.

I have a book about spotting lying. Suggests establishing a "baseline" of normal conversation (aka truth telling) so as to be able to identify when lying. He does not have a baseline of truth telling... maybe "flip it" and look for changes when telling the truth? Sweaty palms, rapid eye movements, body language, etc?

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22 minutes ago, sfokevin said:

Deleting or destroying any tapes would be a violation of the 1978 Presidential Records Act - An impeachable offense :hit-the-fan:

By some accounts he already is violating the law by profiting from the office and hiring his relatives....if Congress will not hold him to account....laws mean nothing.

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LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

 

Mr T is not a fool…and neither is Comey….if anything it would have been a very diplomatic conversation and any hard stuff would probably have been spoken in the rose garden or some tape-free corridor.

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Just now, JHolmesJr said:

LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

 

Mr T is not a fool…and neither is Comey….if anything it would have been a very diplomatic conversation and any hard stuff would probably have been spoken in the rose garden or some tape-free corridor.

How many hundreds if not thousand of examples has Trump provided to disprove your assertion? His official dismissal of Comey cited the Deputy AG's report as the reason. Then he openly says it was not the reason, he was going to dismiss Comey anyway and he specifically cited the Russian investigation as a reason.

We overanalyze Trump. He is what he appears to be.

Why did Donald Trump fire FBI Director James Comey so abruptly, in such humiliating fashion, with no plan to communicate the reasoning behind the move and no list of replacements ready?

The thing is, the answer is pretty obvious.

Trump did it because he was mad.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/12/15621140/interpret-trump

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5 minutes ago, JHolmesJr said:

LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

 

Mr T is not a fool…and neither is Comey….if anything it would have been a very diplomatic conversation and any hard stuff would probably have been spoken in the rose garden or some tape-free corridor.

I don't think you can use the Trump and diplomatic in the same sentence.   

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8 minutes ago, JHolmesJr said:

LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

 

Mr T is not a fool…and neither is Comey….if anything it would have been a very diplomatic conversation and any hard stuff would probably have been spoken in the rose garden or some tape-free corridor.

Then why did Trump even make this tweet?

James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

 

 It makes no sense if what you are asserting is true.

Edited by ilostmypassword
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8 minutes ago, Credo said:

I don't think you can use the Trump and diplomatic in the same sentence.   

Diplomatic conversation will always trump emotional raving. Ok I just wanted to see If I could.

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22 minutes ago, tonray said:

By some accounts he already is violating the law by profiting from the office and hiring his relatives....if Congress will not hold him to account....laws mean nothing.

Unfortunately law can be bought whereas justice cannot be bought

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4 minutes ago, JHolmesJr said:

LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

As usual, another Trumpeteer completely misses the point.

 

You said that. No one else.

Just making stuff up again.

 

The big mouth buffoon in the White House implied he recorded his conversation with Director Comey.

 

If so, it's public property.

 

Let's see it.

Simple as that.

 

But we won't.

Just like proof of his baseless claims of:

3 million illegal votes

Wire tapping

The size of his inauguration crowd

The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process

The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years

We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College

The list goes on... and on...

 

And my personal favorite:

"No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days."  :cheesy:

 

The only "explosive stuff" it will reveal is, that once again, he is full of <deleted>.

 

'The gullible tool of liars': Los Angeles Times editorial board targets litany of Trump's baseless claims

"Trump's easy embrace of untruth can sometimes be entertaining, in the vein of a Moammar Kadafi speech to the United Nations or the self-serving blathering of a 6-year-old,"

http://www.businessinsider.com/los-angeles-times-editorial-board-targets-litany-of-trumps-baseless-claims-2017-4

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

he might have tapes of conversations with Comey

Or he rally doesn't and this innuendo was intended as another diversion from the Russian investigations.

But the silver lining to such a scenario is that some major Congressional Republicans may stop mindlessly supporting Trump on his legislation agenda and introduce their own more moderate and pragmatic goals. Much to the Democrats glee.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the White House must "clear the air" about whether there are any taped conversations.

WOW Graham steps into the positive limelight for a very brief moment amazing. He always seemed to be singing from Trumps hymn book. 

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1 hour ago, Srikcir said:

Or he rally doesn't and this innuendo was intended as another diversion from the Russian investigations.

But the silver lining to such a scenario is that some major Congressional Republicans may stop mindlessly supporting Trump on his legislation agenda and introduce their own more moderate and pragmatic goals. Much to the Democrats glee.

What makes you think that Republicans don't approve of most of Trump's legislative program?  Repeal of Obamacare wasn't his idea.  And his tax cuts and repeals of health and safety regulations are classic Republican.  They may step away from the man, but most of the programs he endorses they enthusiastically support.

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19 minutes ago, ilostmypassword said:

repeals of health and safety regulations

Done by Presidential Order and not through congressional legislation. We might see some litigation on some of the roll backs if it can be argues that they violation current laws like the Clean Water Act and ratified international treaties like the  Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. 

 

32 minutes ago, ilostmypassword said:

What makes you think that Republicans don't approve of most of Trump's legislative program?

The Senate has indicated it will ignore the House-passed Repeal & Replace Bill and write its own bill from scratch. If Trump and the R&R had a high public approval rating, I'd expect the Senate simply follow Trump. Trump is at war with his own credibility and he will suffer legislatively from it.

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4 hours ago, pegman said:

Impeachment could happen within weeks. 

Lets hope so the world must be rid of this fool or there will be no world left when he tries to find out what will happen when he pushes the other red button on his desk (not the Cola one, that is).

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4 hours ago, JHolmesJr said:

LOve how everyone is expecting the tapes to contain some explosive stuff...

 

Mr T is not a fool…and neither is Comey….if anything it would have been a very diplomatic conversation and any hard stuff would probably have been spoken in the rose garden or some tape-free corridor.

Yes I too would argue with your logic.  Trump is a fool but Comey certainly isn't.  Trump is way out of his depth here.  He has created a "them and us" situation except that the "us" is rapidly becoming "me".   Thank god he has still got you in his corner because he is running out of supporters very rapidly now. 

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1 hour ago, Srikcir said:

Done by Presidential Order and not through congressional legislation. We might see some litigation on some of the roll backs if it can be argues that they violation current laws like the Clean Water Act and ratified international treaties like the  Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. 

 

The Senate has indicated it will ignore the House-passed Repeal & Replace Bill and write its own bill from scratch. If Trump and the R&R had a high public approval rating, I'd expect the Senate simply follow Trump. Trump is at war with his own credibility and he will suffer legislatively from it.

Yes the repeal by Presidential order was done by the President but it was loved by Republicans.

Well, the really couldn't follow Trump on this since Trump offered very little if anything in the way of specifity about Obamacare repeal. He just went along with whatever they concocted and claimed that it was great.

Edited by ilostmypassword
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