Furor grows over Donald Trump’s sudden dismissal of FBI Directory James Comey
Developments on Day 115 of the Trump Administration:
GOP & Democratic Lawmakers Agree: Trump Should Hand Over Tapes
Top Republican and Democratic lawmakers call on Donald Trump to hand over any secret tapes of recorded conversations, including those with dismissed FBI Director James Comey.
Trump added to the furor over last Tuesday’s sudden firing of Comey — in part because of the FBI’s expanding investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials — with a tweeted threat: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the panel or another congressional committee “absolutely” will subpoena Trump: “We have got to make sure that these tapes, if they exist, don’t mysteriously disappear.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said, “[Trump] should turn them over to Congress and to the investigators. If there are no tapes, he should apologize to both Jim Comey and the American people for misleading them.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, echoed, “If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over.”
And GOP Senator Mike Lee, a former federal prosecutor, said “it’s probably inevitable” that any recordings would need to be handed over to Congress and predicted that they would be subpoenaed.
Democrats continued to call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the FBI investigation over any Trump campaign “coordination” with the Russian interference in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, discussion circulated over the eight candidates interviewed on Saturday to replace Comey, from Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to past and present lawmakers, judges, Bush-era officials, and another senior FBI agent.
The White House refused to send any senior staff to the Sunday shows, apart from an appearance by the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Trump spent the day on his private golf course in Virginia.
Graham dismissed calls for a special prosecutor or independent commission, “It’s not a criminal investigation. I see no need for a special commission yet.”
However, Schumer said many Democratic senators want to blocking Trump’s nominee for FBI director until a special prosecutor is named: “We will have to discuss it as a caucus, but I would support that move, because who the FBI director is is related to who the special prosecutor is.”
Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also supports a special prosecutor.
Most Republicans oppose a special prosecutor at this point, but some GOP legislators are considering the possibility.
TOP PHOTO: Donald Trump spent Sunday on his golf course in Virginia