The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it is expanding its probe into Russia's influence over the 2016 election to include an investigation of the firing of FBI Director James Comey and, by extension, former President Barack Obama's attorney general, Loretta Lynch, and her "alleged political interference", CBS News reports.
Comey later testified that Trump asked him for loyalty - which an Federal Bureau of Investigation chief does not owe a president - and made a statement that he interpreted as a request to "drop" a probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
President Donald Trump has declared that he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI Director James Comey.
The House panel said on June 9 it had written to Don McGahn, the White House counsel, asking about the existence of any recordings or memos covering Comey's conversations with Trump and asked that copies of the materials be provided to the panel by June 23.
Shortly after Comey was sacked in May, Trump suggested on Twitter that he may have audio recordings of his conversations with Comey. Three days later, Trump tweeted that Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
The constant allegations of collusion with Russian Federation have cast a dark shadow over Trump's first five months in the Oval, and the investigation has stepped up a notch since former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed as a special counsel last month.
Further, the investigation, which Mueller is now helming, reportedly includes a probe into whether or not Trump did, in fact, obstruct justice when he axed Comey, as some watchdog groups and Democratic critics have argued. Trump describes Mueller's friendship with Comey as "very bothersome". Trump tweeted on May 12.
"The reality is that he wanted to make sure that the truth came out", Spicer told Fox News' Bill Hemmer this morning.
The White House has sometimes treated the issue of tapes jokingly. But she did not explain why Mr. Trump mentioned tapes in the first place.
President Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired, or to discredit him so successfully he will be seen as biased and damaged, forcing him to resign. More than a half-dozen aides said they were unaware of any recording devices. But for over five weeks White House officials had refused to say whether the tapes did exist, the newspaper said. Under a post-Watergate law, the Presidential Records Act, recordings made by presidents belong to the people and can eventually be made public.
Trump is doing himself no favors at this point, lawyers say.