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Democrats want documents preserved on any Russian contacts

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Thursday asked the White House and law enforcement agencies to preserve all materials related to contacts between Russians and individuals associated with President Donald Trump.

The nine Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn, and wrote similar letters to the Justice Department and the FBI.

The letters ask for confirmation that the White House, FBI and Justice Department have instructed their employees to preserve all materials related to any contacts Trump's administration, campaign, transition team — or anyone acting on their behalf — have had with Russian government officials or its associates.

The letter to McGahn said the executive branch and Congress have been investigating Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. As a part of these investigations, there have been ongoing inquiries into communications or contacts between the Trump campaign or Trump transition team and associates or officials of the Russian government, including communications involving ousted national security adviser Mike Flynn.

Congressional staffers said they were not aware of any evidence that materials were not being preserved, but Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Thursday on the Senate floor: "There is real concern that some in the administration may try to cover up its ties to Russia by deleting emails, texts and other records that could shine a light on those connections. These records are likely to be the subject of executive branch as well as congressional investigations and must be preserved."

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