WASHINGTON — House Democrats are pressing to receive communication records related to President Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Democratic leaders announced on Monday.
The move follows allegations by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) that the president had at one point attempted to have the records of those communications destroyed.
“President Trump, on multiple occasions, appears to have taken steps to conceal the details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress, and the American people,” the trio wrote, citing a Washington Post report that claimed such.
The lawmakers further alleged that Trump “may have been manipulated or withheld from the official record in direct contravention of federal laws, which expressly require that Presidents and other administration officials preserve such materials.”
Democrats claim manipulating or withholding such records would violate the Presidential Records Act, which was instituted as a result of President Nixon’s Watergate controversy.
“These allegations, if true, raise profound national security, counterintelligence, and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections,” the chairmen wrote in separate letters to White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Schiff and his cohorts are also demanding that White House and State Department employees with knowledge of the Trump-Putin talks and interpreters who were present at such meetings make themselves available for interviews with the committees.
Republicans swung back at the allegations Monday, calling the effort just another ploy by Democrats to try to impeach Trump.
“With their Russian collusion allegations imploding, the Democrats are weaponizing congressional committees to try to manufacture some new case to use to impeach the president,” Jack Langer, a spokesperson for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said in a statement to The Hill. “After they hyped the collusion hoax for more than two years, I don’t know how anyone can view them as honest investigators as opposed to zealous, partisan operatives.”