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 TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE's conversations with fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBook: FBI sex crimes investigator helped trigger October 2016 public probe of Clinton emails Trump jabs at FBI director over testimony on Russia, antifa Graham: Comey to testify about FBI's Russia probe, Mueller declined invitation 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 CummingsBlack GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview Overnight Health Care: US won't join global coronavirus vaccine initiative | Federal panel lays out initial priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution | NIH panel: 'Insufficient data' to show treatment touted by Trump works House Oversight Democrats to subpoena AbbVie in drug pricing probe 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.