Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin trolled Donald Trump, Offering to Provide a ‘Record’ of Trump’s Disclosures to Russian Envoys:
President Vladimir V. Putin on Wednesday jumped into the furor over President Trump’s disclosure of classified information to Russian diplomats, declaring that nothing secret had been revealed and that he could prove it.
Mr. Putin [said] that he has a “record” of the American president’s meeting at the White House with two senior Russian officials and was ready to give it to Congress — so long as Mr. Trump does not object.
It turns out that the White House has its own “record” of the meeting, which has not been made public. Trump’s disclosure of highly classified intelligence from Israel to the Russians is not the only reason, we now learn.
The New York Times reports, Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation:
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Well there is an admission against interest that is probative of the element of intent in an obstruction of justice charge.
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.
In a statement, he said that Mr. Comey had put unnecessary pressure on the president’s ability to conduct diplomacy with Russia on matters such as Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State.
“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Mr. Spicer said. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
There’s a “fuck you” attitude from Spicey for you.
The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), on Friday urged Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to demand documents from the White House that show the President expressing relief to top Russian diplomats over his firing of the FBI director. Cummings Wants White House Docs On Trump’s ‘Nut Job’ Comey Remarks:
“This new report that President Trump openly admitted to the Russians that he ‘faced great pressure’ from the FBI’s criminal investigation that was ‘taken off’ when he fired Director Comey is astonishing—and extremely troubling,” Cummings said in a statement. “If these White House documents in fact exist memorializing the President’s statements to the Russians, the Oversight Committee needs to obtain copies immediately.”
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In his statement, Cummings invoked Chaffetz’s “subpoena pen,” a reference to the Oversight Committee chairman’s request that the FBI hand over memos that Comey reportedly wrote to document his interactions with Trump.
“Chairman Chaffetz should request these White House documents today and have his subpoena pen ready—just as he did earlier this week with the memos written by Director Comey,” Cummings said.
Maybe the House Oversight Committee should request Putin’s “record” of the meeting as well to compare notes.