Amateur president Donald Trump sent out a threatening tweet targeting former FBI Director James Comey and it’s backfiring. Trump tweeted, “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Members of Congress have demanded that the former reality show star hand over the alleged tapes for the review. At this moment, team Trump has declined in interviews to address whether tapes exist or not and Comey, for his part, doesn’t seem concerned about it. The question over if they exist can be answered by three of Trump’s former employees.
The former employees and a former associate said it wasn’t a surprise to them that Trump would mention taped conversations.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump sometimes taped phone conversations with associates and others from his Trump Tower office in New York when he was a businessman, according to three people who say they have direct knowledge of the recordings.
The former employees said that they were fearful of using their names and another employee said that he had signed a nondisclosure agreement. We do know that the former high-level employees worked for Trump over a span of three decades, so it appears they knew of the goings on at his office and they added that they saw devices in use recording phone calls.
It wasn’t just three employees.
A fourth person said he knew that Mr. Trump had recorded a phone conversation with him because it was later entered into evidence in a lawsuit.
During a Fox News interview Friday, Trump was asked whether there might be tape recordings of Comey as he suggested. Trump said, “That I can’t talk about. I won’t talk about that.”
Former President Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor assigned to the investigation into his scandal. Sound familiar? The night Cox was fired was called the ‘Saturday Night Massacre.’ Nixon refused Cox’s request to release the tapes. Instead, Nixon fired him.
Ultimately, Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, mandated that the White House release the subpoenaed tapes.
The firing of Cox shocked America because it was the first time a president had ever brazenly and abruptly fired an official charged with investigating a president’s conduct before. And now it’s 2017, and Trump just shocked America by firing the man leading the investigation into his administration’s alleged ties to Russia. Before Comey, it was Preet Bharara, then Sally Yates. History repeats itself.
It’s only a matter of time before we hear Trump say, “I am not a crook!”
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.