Senate Democrat: Any White House Tapes Due Friday

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

"As I said all weekend, there has been no notification to any of us that the President is under any investigation and as I said, James Comey has said on three separate occasions that the President is not under investigation", said Jay Sekulow, repeating an argument he also made on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper on Sunday.

The news last week was stunning and historic: the special counsel's investigation into the Russian Federation scandal now includes "an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice".

On Sunday, however, a member of his legal team, Jay Sekulow, largely denied that, sparking a tense exchange with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

Whether or not special prosecutor Robert Mueller is even investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice is far from clear. He has no idea whether Trump is or isn't under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. He repeatedly insisted the president is not being investigated and Friday's tweet was meant to paraphrase media accounts. So technically, Trump is correct: The man who wrote the memo endorsing Comey's removal has authorized an investigation that is reportedly probing whether that removal somehow constituted a felony. The top attorney also maintained that there can not be any investigation into Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey because the president had full constitutional authority to oust the agency head.

On Friday, Trump fired off a tweet that appeared to blame Rosenstein for the appointment of a special counsel and ABC News reported that the deputy attorney general had privately discussed the prospect of a recusal with colleagues.

Rather, the FBI is a component of the executive branch, with Article II of the Constitution assigning to the president the position of head of the executive branch, along with the comprehensive power to hire and fire personnel and commence or modify investigations at his discretion.

His actions are being scrutinised as part of a wider investigation into whether Trump's team colluded with Russian Federation during last year's election campaign. "Regardless of the recommendation, I was going to fire Comey", he told NBC News in early May.

This is, however, a tough sell, in part because multiple major news organizations have confirmed that the president is in fact being investigated for obstruction of justice, and in part because of phrases such as "I am being investigated" and "He's being investigated" don't lend themselves to nuanced interpretations. "That's constitutional rights and protections under the president's authority as commander in chief", Sekulow said on "Fox and Friends". "There is no investigation", he added.

Rubio is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is doing its own probe into Russian election interference.

"The president wants to take down Bob Mueller ... and the question is why".

A source familiar with the Mueller probe said on Thursday that investigators would have to gather a large amount of evidence before an interview with the president would be warranted.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified to Congress that Trump wanted a memo laying out the case for firing Comey. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement Friday.

Trump is under pressure to reveal whether he has any tape recordings of private conversations with Comey. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said that the panel - overseeing one of several congressional investigations - is looking forward to getting a response from the White House on whether recordings exist. Moreover, he used an Federal Bureau of Investigation computer to create a memo of an incident that took place within his scope of work, which involved a meeting with the president and the conversation that transpired between the then-acting director and the nation's chief executive. Cuomo also challenged Sekulow's claim that the president was above legal reproach for obstruction of justice in his firing of Comey, noting that the question had never before been litigated. It's Comey who claimed that Trump pressured him to ease off his investigation of Mike Flynn, and who, as some said, laid the groundwork for an obstruction charge. Schiff cited the fact that the president at one meeting "cleared the room" of advisers and asked to speak to Comey alone.

And Senate Intelligence Committee member Angus King, an independent from ME, stressed that the probe will likely last for a long time.

Senator Angus K of ME said, "A lot of people have asked, when will we be done?" This is a very complex matter, involving thousands of pages of intelligence documents, lots of witnesses.

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