The leaders of a House probe into Russia on Thursday demanded that the White House respond “appropriately and fully” to their query over whether President Trump had recordings of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey, a week after the president tweeted that he does not have recordings.
“Today, the Committee has sent the White House a second letter urging the White House to appropriately and fully comply with the Committee’s June 9 request,” said Reps. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) about a letter sent to the White House, threatening to issue a subpoena.
Last month, Trump tweeted a warning to Comey that he had “better hope” no tapes of their conversations existed after the former FBI director’s associates began leaking alleged details of those conversations to media.
The tweet sparked weeks of speculation over whether the tapes existed and forced Comey to admit he had made memos of their conversations that he later leaked to friends and media outlets.
Conaway and Schiff, during that time, sent a letter to the White House on June 9 asking whether any “recordings, memoranda or other documents” of those conversations had ever existed, and if so, whether they could obtain copies.
The speculation ended with a thud after Trump tweeted last week that he had never made any recordings of his conversations with Comey.
…whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
The White House then sent Conaway and Schiff a copy of the president’s tweeted statement.
But Conaway and Schiff rejected the response in their most recent letter, saying that it only partially addressed their query.
“The President’s statement on Twitter, and the White House’s letter referring to the President’s statement, were only partially responsive to the Committee’s request,” they said.
“By only referring to the President’s statement, the White House’s letter stops short of clarifying for the Committee whether the White House has any responsive recordings, memoranda, or other documents. Today’s letter from the Committee makes clear that should the White House not to respond fully, the Committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response,” they said.