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The Guardians of Democracy

Rep. Eric Swalwell: Trump Tried To ‘Intimidate’ Comey With His Threat Of Tapes


Rep. Eric Swalwell: Trump Tried To ‘Intimidate’ Comey With His Threat Of Tapes

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) asserted Thursday that President Trump tried to “chill or intimidate” former FBI Director James Comey with his threat of having tapes of their conversations.

“It sounds to me like he was trying to chill or intimidate James Comey,” Swalwell said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front.”

“And what’s remarkable about that is James Comey didn’t know either way whether there were tapes, and came forward anyway. So if there were tapes and he told a lie to Congress, he risked perjury,” Swalwell continued. “So I think that goes to show how believable and how credible James Comey’s testimony was — which was very damaging for the president.”

President Trump said earlier on Thursday that he didn’t make and doesn’t have any taped recordings of his White House conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, ending weeks of speculation.

“I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump tweeted.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) blasted President Trump’s announcement that he has no tapes of past meetings with former FBI Director James Comey, saying Trump “can’t stop” demeaning the presidency.

“The president is like Geraldo Rivera saying he was going to open Al Capone’s vault and of course there was nothing inside,” Markey told MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren.

Van Susteren asked Markey if he thought Trump’s tweets threatening Comey about the “tapes” amounted to intimidation of a witness.

“It does run to intimidation of a witness, which is why Robert Mueller must investigate the entirety of this tapes incident,” Markey said.

“I don’t think there’s any other explanation than he’s a bully, and he doesn’t want this Russia investigation to continue,” Markey said. “He only is matched by Wile E. Coyote in terms of self-inflicted wounds and he just keeps acting this way.”

“He doesn’t respect the Congress. He doesn’t respect the judiciary. He doesn’t respect his own office,” Markey said. “It’s just disrespectful of the office.”

Norm Eisen, the former White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama, also argued that Trump’s admission to not having tapes of their conversations amounts to witness intimidation.

“This lie increases Trump’s legal exposure for obstruction and witness intimidation—more evidence of corrupt intent @Susan_Hennessey,” Eisen wrote on Twitter, copying Susan Hennessey, the managing editor of the Lawfare blog.

Seth Abramson, an attorney and former criminal investigator, tweeted, “What TRUMP said about the tapes *isn’t* news. What NEWT GINGRICH said *is* news—as it means Trump *committed a crime* and *confessed* to it,” referring to today when Gingrich said he thinks President Trump was trying to “rattle” former FBI Director James Comey by suggesting there might be recordings of their conversations.

Abramson then concluded with, “Remember the last celebrity to be in this much legal jeopardy and consistently claim in public statements to be “winning” was Charlie Sheen.”



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