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Glenza writes: "Days after James Comey's blockbuster testimony, both Republicans and Democrats on Sunday called for the White House to release any tapes that may exist of a private conversation between the former FBI director and the president."

James Comey. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
James Comey. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Senators Sound Calls to Release Comey 'Tapes' as Trump Attacks 'Cowardly' Leak

By Jessica Glenza, Guardian UK

11 June 17


Republican senator voiced support for White House subpoena to release alleged recordings of private conversations between president and former FBI director

ays after James Comey’s blockbuster testimony, both Republicans and Democrats on Sunday called for the White House to release any tapes that may exist of a private conversation between the former FBI director and the president.

Republican senator Susan Collins said she would support a subpoena to the White House to release any alleged tapes, as Donald Trump launched new attacks on the fired FBI boss, saying he believed he was behind further leaks to the media.

“I would be fine with issuing a subpoena,” Collins said on CNN’s State of the Union. “But that most likely would come from the special counsel’s office.” She said she hoped the president would release the tapes “voluntarily”.

Democrat and Senate judiciary committee ranking member Senator Dianne Feinstein also pressed for release of tapes. She also said on CNN: “There were not witnesses. If there are tapes, please – and the presidency is equivocal on this – bring those tapes forward.”

Another Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, told CBS’s Face the Nation, “If there are tapes – [Trump] eluded to the fact there are tapes maybe as a threat or taunting Comey – he should make that public right away.”

Meanwhile, Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a frequent critic of the president, called conversations between Comey and Trump “inappropriate”, and “frustrating”, because the investigation may have otherwise helped exonerate Trump.

“You may be the first president in history to go down because you can’t stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you,” said Graham.

Trump meanwhile on Sunday called Comey’s decision to leak a memo of a private conversation “cowardly”, questioned whether his actions were legal, and said he believed the ex-FBI director may have leaked other materials.

Comey testified on Thursday that the president asked him to drop an investigation into former national security director Mike Flynn. Flynn resigned earlier this year, after it was revealed he spoke with Russian officials during the Trump transition.

“I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible,” the president tweeted Sunday morning. “Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!’”

Trump has remained uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter since Comey’s testimony. His recent tweets have generally focused on jobs and White House summits. When he has responded to Comey’s testimony, it has been to call him a “leaker” and say his testimony was “full of lies”.

Questions about Russia are likely to make headlines again on Tuesday as the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said he would appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates Russian meddling in the presidential election.

In a letter, Sessions said that his decision to appear comes in light of last week’s testimony by Comey. He was scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before a Senate panel, but the attorney general said it was clear from reports that the Russian investigation would become the focus of questioning.

Sessions recused himself from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with the Russian ambassador to the US.

In testimony, Comey implied Sessions may have more links to Russia than have been established publicly.

“Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons,” Comey said. “We were also aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.”

It is not clear if the hearing would be open or closed. On Sunday, senators also called for any questioning of Sessions to be held in public.


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+4 # vitobonespur 2017-06-12 02:34
So Humpty-Trumpty said, as well as implied, that Comey should break the law. And he calls Comey "cowardly?" What the hell planet did that psycho come from?
 
 
+1 # chrisconnolly 2017-06-12 08:16
Planet money.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-06-12 17:42
"after James Comey’s blockbuster testimony"

Blockbuster is now one of those automatic insert texts on all journalists' word processors. "Bobmshell" is there, too. They are there because these writers used to write about war. Now they write about the impending overthrow of Trump. These words have no meaning. They just fill space on the page and in the empty heads of journalists.

Clearly there was nothing blockbuster about Comey's testimony. It was very lack luster. There were no new or important revelations. He'd already shot his wad and now he was only limp.

Tomorrow, we get Sessions who promises to be even more boring. Sessions is odious and hateful. I could not endure looking at him for any amount of time. I hope he lies under oath so he will be gone soon. Probably I will get my wish.
 

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