Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is no shrinking violet, and appearing on MSNBC Sunday morning, he made clear that Congress will get to the bottom of whether or not President Donald Trump was taping his own calls.
Speaking with “AM Joy” host Joy Reid, Cummings asserted that any recordings Trump may have made as president would become public record.
“If there are tapes, clearly they would come under the Presidential Records Act,” said Cummings, a ranking member of the House Oversight Committee of the act passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal. “When you have recordings like this, you have to preserve them and they become a part of the presidential records. And we should have access to them as the Congress.”
Along with Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Cummings authored a letter to the White House that not only demanded Trump turn over “copies of all recordings in possession of the White House regarding this matter,” but also indicting the president for potentially intimidating a witness via a seemingly threatening tweet directed at James Comey, the former FBI director he fired last week.
“The President’s actions this morning — as well as his admission yesterday on national television that he fired Director Comey because he was investigating Trump campaign officials and their connections to the Russian government — raise the specter of possible intimidation and obstruction of justice,” Conyers’ and Cummings’ statement reads. They also state that under Section 1512 of Title 18 of the US Code, “it is a crime to intimidate or threaten any potential witness with the intent to influence, delay, or prevent their official testimony.”
Addressing actions the House is taking to uncover the truth behind the so-called “Trump tapes,” Reid also asked Cummings if his Republican colleagues were more outraged behind the scenes about the president’s behavior than they appear to be in public.
In response, Cummings said that while he thinks there is “some outrage,” many GOP congresspeople are either too scared of losing their seats or invested in the Comey firing scandal blowing over to speak out.
“I told them over and over again that this is a fight for the soul of our democracy,” Cummings said. “The question is going to become, when all of this is over, what kind of country are we going to have?”
Watch Cummings discuss the potential Trump tapes and his colleagues across the aisle below, via MSNBC.