Friday, May 12, 2017

NY Times — Trump Warning to Comey Prompts Questions on ‘Tapes’


“President Trump on Friday warned James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director he fired this week, against leaking anything negative about him, saying that Mr. Comey ‘better hope’ that there are no secret tapes of their conversations that the president could use in retaliation.

“The suggestion that the president may be surreptitiously recording his meetings or telephone calls added a twist at the end of a week that roiled Washington. Mr. Trump and his White House aides later refused to say whether the president tapes his visitors, something Mr. Trump was suspected of doing when he was in business in New York.

“ ‘James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’ Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

“Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to a report in The New York Times that Mr. Comey had declined to pledge his loyalty during a dinner at the White House earlier this year, an account the president denied. Asked directly about whether there were tapes of his conversations, Mr. Trump refused to say,” — NY Times


Robert Reich writes … 

The core issue here is not whether Trump is secretly recording his meetings or telephone calls (Trump and his White House aides refuse to say whether he tapes his visitors, something he was suspected of doing when he was in business in New York).

The real issues are:

(1) The illegality of a President of the United States seeking to intimidate a potential witness in a congressional investigation.

(2) The illegality of a President intimidating current FBI investigators looking into possible collusion by that president or his aides with Russian operatives, by firing the former FBI head who was leading that investigation, and now threatening retaliation against him.

We are facing a constitutional crisis potentially larger and more significant than Richard Nixon’s “Watergate.” As long as Donald Trump remains president, our governing institutions are threatened.

The question now is whether there exist 22 House Republicans whose loyalty to the United States exceeds their loyalty to the Republican Party, who would join with House Democrats in seeking a bill of impeachment.

Trump Warning to Comey Prompts Questions on ‘Tapes’

By PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR











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