40 days later Trump admits: No Comey tapes

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Witness intimidation, according to federal law, is defined as anyone who "knowingly uses intimidation, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to influence, delay or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding". So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape and I don't have any tape and I didn't tape but when he found out that I you know that there may be tapes out there whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, who knows, uh I think his story may have changed.

The President also said some of the staffers that Mr Mueller has hired for his investigation "are all Hillary Clinton supporters".

Keep in mind that most legal experts agree that a sitting President cannot be indicted for a crime. Mueller was appointed just after the dismissal of Mr. Comey on May 9. He has many connections both inside the White House and the intelligence community, and his sources have proven to be correct in the past.

And in his Fox interview, Mr Trump said: "Robert Mueller is an honourable man and hopefully he'll come up with an honourable conclusion".

"Jim has never been to Bob's house".

"When I chose to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story", Trump told NBC's Lester Holt two days after Comey's dismissal. Trump later acknowledged he took this step with the Russian Federation probe in mind.

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The norms of legal ethics would generally frown upon a prosecutor who investigated a matter in which a friend or relative was a target of a crime. When Comey balked, Trump reportedly asked the heads of two other intelligence agencies to announce publicly that there had been no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, a move that could provide further legal grounds to charge Trump with engaging in a pattern of obstruction. "Their friendship would not require recusing", he said.

Perhaps sensing that he was showing his cards, Trump added a compliment for the special counsel.

Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, said in a statement on Thursday that Mr Trump's Twitter comment stopped short of denying that the White House had tapes or recordings, and said the White House must respond in writing. A conceivable argument for conflict of interest could include a family connection or a business tie, none of which is known to exist in the relationship between Mueller and Comey.

So when Donald Trump made the mistake of musing about "tapes", and left the door hanging open with his tweets, he once again put both his legal team and his White House staff in the bad position of trying to explain his actions and contain their damage.

Comey's firing sparked a political firestorm. Why did you want him to believe you possibly did that?

Richard Nixon fought the release of his tapes because he knew that the system had caught him planning and ordering the post-Watergate cover-up that drove him from office. "I don't have the foggiest idea", Democratic Senator Mark Warner said on ABC News the following Sunday morning.