Following an emergency Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) warned that Trump officials might try to cover up improper contacts with Russian intelligence. Schumer said there is legitimate concern that President Trump’s circle of advisers may try to destroy evidence that could shed light on the substance of reported conversations with Russian agents. “There is real concern that 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 at a press conference outside the Senate chamber following the meeting. He said such electronic records are “likely to be the subject” of congressional investigations and “must be preserved.”
Schumer, flanked by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Mark Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrats on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees respectively, demanded that all records of contact between Trump’s campaign, transition and administration officials be preserved.
The New York Times reported late Tuesday that phone records and intercepted calls show members of Trump’s presidential campaign had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials in the months before Election Day.
This has raised suspicion among Democrats in Congress that former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who served as a senior adviser to the campaign, may have promised sanctions relief to Russian officials, knowing that Russian intelligence would help Trump win the presidential election by leaking damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.