Following an emergency meeting of Senate Democrats on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the Trump team may try to cover up its improper contacts with Russian intelligence.
Schumer warned that there is substantial concern that President Trump’s advisers will try to destroy evidence relating to the substance of reported conversations with Russian agents.
“There is real concernt hat administration, transition and campaign officials may try to cover up ties to Russia by deleting emails, texts and other records that could shine a light on those connections,” Schumer said during a press conference outside of the Senate chamber following the Democratic caucus meeting.
Flanked by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), the ranking Democrats on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees respectively, Schumer said that the electronic records in question are “likely to be the subject” of congressional investigations and must be preserved by the Trump administration.
“I’ve been in Congress for a long time. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Schumer told reporters. He repeated his demand that the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump’s first Senate supporter during the campaign, to recuse himself from the Department of Justice’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
He warned that if Sessions does not recuse himself the “investigation will remain jaundiced and the American people will doubt the credibility of its findings.”
Schumer also said that Trump officials should be required to testify before Congress in public hearings and under oath, and that all of the findings of any investigation should be made public, adding that the entire Democratic caucus is united on his demands.
“During our caucus meeting, we discussed the two tracks on which we must seek the truth,” he continued, citing the need for investigations both by Congress and outside law enforcement led by the FBI.
This week, Republicans said that the Senate Intelligence Committee would take the lead in the investigation, particularly relating to the new revelations about Flynn and his involvement. Schumer said that a simultaneous investigation should go forward by law enforcement in order to “get to the bottom of everything that may have transpired here.”