House and Senate lawmakers leading the Russia investigation have asked the White House to produce tapes President Trump hinted might exist of a conversation between him and ousted FBI Director James Comey. They also made a formal request to the Comey camp for copies of the memos he testified he made to document the meetings.
The requests come on the heels of explosive allegations by Comey and a string of strong denials by Trump over the abrupt dismissal of the FBI director and the circumstances surrounding it.
Comey testified Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he’d given a memo that detailed a conversation with Trump to his friend, Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University.
On Friday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, reached out to Comey’s confidant and the committee confirmed Saturday that they had been in touch with Richman about the memo.
“Mr. Richman has had direct contact with the Committee about the request for the memos.,” the committee told Fox News. “Staff for Special Counsel Mueller and the Committee are also in discussions about that request and others, in preparation for a meeting between Mueller and Committee leadership.”
Richman confirmed to Fox News he met with Senate lawmakers through the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is spearheading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is also looking into whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
Richman told Fox News that the Special Council’s office “will discuss the memo production issue on Monday.”
Separately, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announced they had made two requests for evidence themselves – one to Comey and another to White House counsel Don McGahn.
Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said they wrote to Comey asking for any notes or memos he took.
They also asked McGahn to tell the committee whether the White House has or has ever had recordings of Comey’s conversation with Trump – and put a June 23 deadline on the information.
After he fired Comey on May 9, Trump tweeted that the ex-top cop at the FBI should be careful in case the White House had secretly taped their conversation.
Comey testified Thursday, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
At a press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday, the president toyed with reporters vowing to say “in the very near future” if the tapes exist.
The he-said, he-said controversy is likely to gain even more steam in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in the hot seat when he testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Democrats have pledged to use the appearance to ask Sessions about his alleged contacts with Russians as well as the very public dismissal of Comey.