James Comey had been secretly recording his calls and meetings with Donald Trump in the lead-up to his firing, a potentially explosive new report claims.
There has been growing controversy regarding Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director amid the expanding investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia. Immediately after the firing, after Comey released memos detailing conversations in which Trump allegedly appeared to pressure Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump suggested on Twitter that he may have recordings of those meetings with Comey.
While Trump has yet to produce these recordings and there are growing calls from members of Congress for him to do so, a new report claims that James Comey may have been the one keeping recordings of the meetings and doing so legally.
A report posted on the political news site, Patribotics, claims that Comey had his own phone line legally recorded as part of the investigation to Trump and his adult sons. The website is run by independent journalist Louise Mensch, who has broken a number of major developments related to the Trump investigation but also has published other reports yet to be verified.
The report claimed that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York “slapped down Jeff Sessions as he attempted to force the service provider on James Comey’s phone to assist Sessions with continuing an SS7 exploit placed there by the consent of James Comey,” an exploit that had been placed there to assist with the investigation of Donald Trump that stretches back more than a year.
“This would mean that the FBI had essentially used Director Comey’s cell phone to monitor suspects in the Trump Russia case since before the beginning of June, 2016,” the report noted. “This is very, very bad news for Mr. Trump. If Trump, as he is openly threatening, prepares to fire Special Counsel Mueller, parts of these tapes may be leaked to the general public.”
It is unclear if Donald Trump actually has recordings of his interactions with James Comey. The Secret Service has said it has no record of such tapes, but Trump has yet to formally answer whether he has them.
At the same time, many Trump surrogates including his own sons have taken aim at Comey and disputed his account.
While the report could spell major trouble for Donald Trump if true, there have also been criticisms of Mensch and some of her fellow independent journalists who share inside information on Twitter. While they have broken some stories regarding the investigation, others including the Daily Kos note that many of their reports have been off the mark or factually incorrect.
There does not yet appear to be any independent corroboration of the report that James Comey had secretly recorded his conversations with Donald Trump, but it is known that other accounts of their interactions are now in the hands of federal investigators. The Columbia University professor, who helped Comey leak the initial memo about Trump’s requests concerning the investigation, has now given the memo to the FBI, the New York Daily News reported.
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