Trump threatened with subpoena to determine existence of Comey ‘tapes’

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Bipartisan leaders on House intelligence committee demand White House clarify whether there are recordings of Trumps meeting with fired FBI director

Bipartisan leaders on the House intelligence committee are threatening a subpoena if the White House does not clarify whether any recordings, memoranda or other documents exist of Donald Trumps meetings with fired FBI director James Comey.

The panel had previously set a 23 June deadline for the White House to respond to the panels request. The day before, Trump said in a series of tweets that he did not make, and do not have, any such recordings but also said he has no idea if tapes or recordings of his conversations with Comey exist.

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea … whether there are tapes or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings, the president wrote on Twitter.

In a 23 June letter, the White House responded to the committee request by referring to Trumps tweets.

The committee had asked for any recordings after Trump suggested there may be tapes. He did so just days after he fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into Trump associates ties to Russian officials. Trump has disputed Comeys assertion that the president asked him for a pledge of loyalty during a dinner meeting they had.

When news of Comeys account broke, Trump tweeted that Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

A letter Thursday from Republican congressman Mike Conaway of Texas, who is leading the Russia investigation, and Democratic congressman Adam Schiff of California says Trumps Twitter statement stops short of clarifying whether the White House has any tapes or documents.

Conaway and Schiff said in a statement that the letter makes clear that should the White House not respond fully, the committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response.

Also Thursday, Democrats on two House committees asked the justice departments inspector general to investigate whether attorney general Jeff Sessions violated his recusal from the Russia investigation by taking part in Comeys May firing.

House oversight and judiciary committee Democrats urged inspector general Michael Horowitz to examine a lapse in judgment.

Sessions insisted in an appearance before the Senate intelligence committee this month that he had not violated his decision in March to recuse himself from any investigation related to inquiries involving Trumps 2016 campaign. During his testimony, Sessions said it would be absurd to suggest a recusal from a single investigation would render him unable to manage leadership of the FBI.