- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2017

The congressmen overseeing the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in President Trump’s election threatened to subpoena the White House for information on any recordings between the president and ousted FBI Director James Comey on Thursday after the administration responded to the lawmakers’ previous request by referring to Mr. Trump’s personal Twitter account.

Reps. Mike Conaway, Texas Republican, and Adam Schiff, California Democrat, are prepared to use a “compulsory process” to ensure the White House “appropriately and fully” complies with the intelligence committee’s June 9 request for information on Mr. Trump’s exchanges with Mr. Comey, they said in a statement Thursday, June 29.

Mr. Trump first raised the possibility of recordings existing three days after he abruptly fired the former FBI chief on May 9, tweeting: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

The House Intel committee wrote the White House a month later asking whether any recordings exist or ever existed, as well as any copies of any such exchanges. Three weeks later, however, the lawmakers said they’re unsatisfied with the administration’s only official response to date: a June 23 letter referring committee members to comments the president posted a day earlier from his personal Twitter account.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea … whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Mr. Trump tweeted June 22.

“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,” the congressmen responded Thursday. “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 respond fully, the Committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response.”

The House panel sent a second letter Thursday “urging the White House to appropriately and fully comply with the Committee’s June 9 request,” the congressmen said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawmakers’ request for information concerning the president’s conversations with Mr. Comey come amid a broader probe focused on Russian interference with respect to last year’s White House race. Mr. Comey was leading a separate but related probe in the FBI when he was abruptly fired May 9, and Mr. Trump later admitted terminating him because of that investigation.

Russia interfered in last year’s election by using state-sponsored hackers and propaganda outlets to boost Mr. Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, according to the U.S. intelligence community. Moscow has denied the accusations.

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