Senate Judiciary Committee requests Comey memos—and Trump’s recordings of those conversations

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

The Senate Judiciary Committee, a group of lawmakers which, unlike the Intelligence Committee, does not suffer the disadvantage of being led by Republican Richard Burr, is now asking the FBI to turn over ex-director James Comey’s memos on his meetings with Donald Trump. They’re also asking the White House to turn over whatever recordings they themselves took of the conversations.

Last week, the President tweeted a message implying that the White House may have recordings of interactions with Mr. Comey. […]

In order for the Committee to fully assess these allegations, we are also asking that the White House please provide the Committee all White House records memorializing interactions with Mr. Comey relating to the FBI’s investigation of alleged ties between President Trump’s associates and Russia, or the Clinton email investigation, including all recordings, transcripts, notes, summaries, and memoranda.

The letters are signed by committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley and ranking Democratic member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse. In what was perhaps a required move to bring the two Republicans on board, the letter to the FBI also requests any similar memos created by Comey about President Obama, both Attorney General Sessions and his predecessor Lynch, and Deputy Attorneys General Rosenstein, Boente, and Yates, and broadens the request to include memos relating to the FBI’s Clinton email investigation as well.

The charitable explanation is that the committee just want to be super-duper-thorough; the less charitable explanation is that even though they now feel obliged to investigate Comey’s allegations against the sitting president, Republicans are still hoping they can somehow muddy the waters with a much broader, much slower investigation. (That’s a terribly cynical thing to think, about the Republican senators now dragging themselves into investigating a charge that their president attempted obstruction of justice, and you and I both know it’s almost certainly true.)