Top Dems ask White House to turn over any Trump recordings

Top Dems ask White House to turn over any Trump recordings
© Greg Nash

Top House Democrats are asking the White House to turn over any recordings of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE's conversations with fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyNYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE.

"Under normal circumstances, we would not consider credible any claims that the White House may have taped conversations of meetings with the President," Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel MORE (D-Md.) wrote in a Friday letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn.

"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 came hours after Trump suggested on Twitter that there may be tapes of conversations from Comey's visit to the White House in January.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

It's not clear if such recordings actually exist. When White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the tapes at his Friday press briefing, he demurred, saying "the president has nothing further to add on that."

In addition to the recordings, Cummings and Conyers are also requesting from the White House all documents, emails and other communications regarding Trump's decision to fire Comey. 

Another Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), sent McGahn a letter of his own on Friday, also requesting that the White House turn over the recordings.

Democrats have amped up pressure on the Trump administration since Comey's ouster on Tuesday. Since then, the White House has released a series of statements attempting to explain the president's decision to oust the FBI head.

Some of those statements, however, have been repeatedly contradicted by competing accounts of the decision, including that of Trump himself.