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Trump Hints at Secret Tapes of Conversations with Comey
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secret tape

Summary: President Donald Trump has given the impression that he has recorded conversations between him and former FBI Director James Comey.

Are there secret “tapes” of the conversations between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey? Trump’s latest tweet seems to imply that there are: “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” So would the tapes be a legal issue for the President?

  
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Comey was fired in what the media has labeled a controversial way recently. Comey leaking to the press is a major concern for the administration but Trump may have the upper hand if the tapes do exist. Federal and Washington D.C. law allow for “one-party consent” recording, otherwise recordings made with only person aware of it.

Georgetown Law Professor Laura Donohue said in an interview with Fox News, “The idea is that, even inside your own home, when you divulge information to other individuals, you lose privacy. And it’s not a violation of your privacy. So that information, for instance, could be used in court.”

And the court is where the tapes could end up if Trump presents them as real. Lawmakers would jump at the opportunity to subpoena the tapes. Senator Mike Lee of Utah said on Fox News Sunday, “If, in fact, there are such recordings, I think those recordings will be subpoenaed and I think they will probably have to turn them over. You know, we know that there have been instances in the past in which other presidents have made recordings of conversations that have taken place the White House. And as was made clear…it doesn’t always turn out well. It’s not necessarily the best idea.”

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Other presidents have recorded conversations, such as Richard Nixon. He taped thousands of hours of phone calls and conversations which were used in the Watergate hearings. At the end of the hearing, the special prosecutor was able to show how the recordings ruined his presidency by showing Nixon conspired to obstruct justice.

Could Trump face the same fate? Perhaps that is why White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer avoided the subject in a recent press conference stating, “The president has nothing further to add on that.” Trump also placed the word “tapes” in quotations, which is a known argument between him and his staff about the use of quotations and different meanings. Trump likes to use quotes to give words a different meaning that its literal connotation. For example, Trump claimed in a tweet that former President Barack Obama “wiretapped” his home. Spicer had to explain that what Trump meant was that he was under surveillance, “The President used the word ‘wiretaps’ in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.”



Do you think there are tapes or is Trump bluffing? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about Trump’s battles with the courts, read these articles:

Photo: flickr.com



 

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