Trump’s White House tapes ruse could get him in legal trouble

From The Washington Post — Written by Aaron Blake — Image courtesy of  Reuters / Carlos Barria

President Trump and former House speaker Newt Gingrich have both now admitted, for all intents and purposes, that Trump’s ruse about possible White House tapes was meant to influence James B. Comey’s public comments. In an interview Friday with Fox News, Trump congratulated himself for the ploy.

“Who knows, I think his story may have changed,” Trump said. Asked whether his strategy was smart, Trump said, “It wasn’t very stupid; I can tell you that.”

But was it just political subterfuge, or was it something that could haunt Trump in his ongoing obstruction of justice investigation? Some have even suggested it could amount to witness tampering.

Meanwhile, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also nodded in the direction of potential witness tampering on Thursday, after Trump revealed he had no tapes.

“If the president had no tapes, why did he suggest otherwise? Did he seek to mislead the public? Was he trying to intimidate or silence James Comey?” Schiff asked. “And if so, did he take other steps to discourage potential witnesses from speaking out?”

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